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Latin America Business News

Peru’s Petroperu to be Operating in Venezuela to Help Develop Hydrocarbons

Peruvian state oil company Petroperu will be one of the oil companies operating in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt, President Hugo Chavez said.

“As of today, we have a new partner in the belt: Petroperu,” Chavez said during a tour of the region Saturday with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.

“We are in the area of the Carabobo Belt, the Ayacucho area is here to our side and we expect Petroperu to be here with us in Ayacucho very soon,” Chavez said.

The Peruvian government is committed to having state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, work to develop joint projects in Peru, Humala said.

“We are very happy to start this work and to move together into the development of hydrocarbons, gas and other hydrocarbon derivatives. We have been able to appreciate this marvel that is the Orinoco Belt and all its development potential,” Humala said.

A PDVSA delegation will travel to Lima soon to discuss an energy project being developed in southern Peru, Chavez said.

Peru “can become self-sufficient from the standpoint of petroleum,” the Venezuelan president said.

The Orinoco Belt, located in east-central Venezuela, is believed to hold 300 billion barrels of crude, making it the world’s largest petroleum reserve, but most of the oil is heavy and extra-heavy crude that is more expensive to refine because it requires additional processing.

Venezuela plans to invest $5 billion, of which $2 billion was provided by China, to increase production in the Orinoco Belt from 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 1.5 million bpd this year, Chavez said.

“Over the next five years, investment will reach nearly $80 billion just in the belt,” Chavez said.