Venezuela Plans to Double Oil Production
by Stephen Lendman
Venezuela has the world's largest proved oil reserves - and vast amounts more not officially recognized, mainly its Orinoco basin heavy oil.
It's why Washington wants regime change. It wants control over its vast treasure. It wants Venezuelans denied the vital benefits oil revenues provide.
In late May, Telesur reported on Venezuelan oil production "set to boom due to a massive ($14 billion) deal struck with Russia's Rosneft" - its leading extraction and refinement company.
It mostly involves Orinoco basin development in Venezuela's northeast believed to hold around 235 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the deal following a meeting with state-owned oil company PDVSA president Eulogio de Pino and Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin, saying:
"We had a tremendous meeting, and agreed to investments for over $14 billion to double oil production in the coming years."
The deal is the latest in over 250 bilateral agreements between both countries - mostly in technology, construction and oil.
Rosneft is involved in five joint projects. One of the largest was arranged in 2012. It involves the company investing $16 billion in developing the Orinoco Carabobo project in the area's extra-heavy oil rich south.
Venezuela aims to double its oil production to six million barrels daily by 2019 - four million from Orinoco.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed Moscow's commitment to Venezuela, saying:
"We have confirmed our solidarity with the people of Venezuela and our firm support for the policy of the government of President Maduro aimed at preventing destabilization of the situation."
Lavrov commented after meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow.
She explained discussion focused on "trade, the energy sector and military and technical cooperation."
Russian investment is making Venezuela increasingly self-sufficient, she said - stressing both countries have a mutually beneficial relationship based on respect and equality.
"This will allow us to construct a Venezuela that can produce various goods and meet its potential in terms of mining, agriculture and other areas," she explained.
She warned against (US-manipulated) internal fascist elements trying to destabilize Venezuela and impede its progress, adding:
"We have seen how constitutional and legitimate governments have been overthrown (by coups). We have seen how they have been done through the use of mass media and financial tactics - but we also know how to defend ourselves against these actions."
Venezuela and Russia are "victims of unconventional war," Rodriguez explained. "We are convinced that we share the same idea about what is occurring on the global level."
"Just as the Soviets did their best to overcome the Nazis, today Russia is battling with all its strength to navigate a new geopolitical power structure that permits it to reduce the hegemony and expansionism of imperialism."
Separately in late May, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki held bilateral talks with Venezuelan officials in Caracas.
He called Maduro's government "Palestine's most important ally. (It's) a country that gives without asking for anything in return," he explained.
His counterpart Delcy Rodriguez said her government is "ready at any moment to throw itself into the battle for (Palestinian) independence and sovereignty."
Maduro and al-Maliki signed agreements in areas of agricultural and pharmaceutical products, education, and healthcare - building on mutual cooperation from earlier arranged deals.
Maduro said Palestine can "forever count on all the solidarity of the people of Venezuela."
"We are marking a very important path in bilateral relations…based not only on political support…but on exchange of the revolution."
A PetroPalestina arrangement aims to supply Palestinians with oil it needs for its besieged economy.
Both nations stand in solidarity against repressive Israeli policies - fully supported by Washington.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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