MOSCOW, July 11 (UPI) -- TNK-BP, Russia's third-largest oil company, announced it reached its target level of oil production in Venezuela of 130,000 barrels per day.
TNK-BP said its joint venture with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, PetroMonagas, increased oil production by 11 percent to the target level since the beginning of the year.
PetroMonagas operates in the Faja oil belt north of the Orinoco River. The Russian company said it could theoretically produce more than 1 billion barrels of oil from the area under the terms of a license agreement that expires in 2033.
Boris Zilbermints, a vice president for international projects at TNK-BP, said the company is now more than halfway to its goal of increasing production by 20 percent by 2013.
"In Venezuela, TNK-BP is gaining invaluable experience in producing highly viscous oil," he said in a statement. "We will be able to adapt these unique technologies for effective use in Russia."
Venezuela has some of the largest deposits of crude oil. The Orinoco belt is considered one of the biggest reserve fields outside of the Middle East.
Moscow in 2010 paid more than half of the $1 billion for work in the Junin-6 block in the oil belt.