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Russia increases oil work in Venezuela

April 5, 2013 at 7:03 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela, April 5 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Rosneft will work with local oil companies to get oil and associated gas out of the offshore Orinoco belt, the Venezuelan government said.

The Venezuelan Parliament approved a deal for a venture between a subsidiary of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela and Rosneft. The companies will work to extract oil and natural gas from two offshore blocks in the Orinoco belt, Russia's state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The joint venture will operate offshore in a 131-square-mile area under the terms of a 25-year deal. Rosneft will invest $16 billion in the project which could yield commercial production levels of at least 400,000 barrels of oil per day.

Venezuela has some of the largest deposits of crude oil in the world. The Orinoco belt is considered one of the biggest reserve areas outside of the Middle East.

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