Belarus, PDVSA to study Orinoco block: Chavez office statement

Caracas (Platts)

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Belarus state oil company Belarusneft have signed a joint venture agreement to study and certify reserves in the Junin 1 block of Venezuela's Orinoco Belt, a Venezuelan presidential press statement said Friday.

The two companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to explore for oil in the Orinoco Belt, the statement from President Hugo Chavez's office added.

A delegation from Belarus on Tuesday began talks with Venezuelan officials in Caracas to determine how the two countries will jointly develop oil and gas projects stemming from energy cooperation agreements signed in Belarus in July. The two countries also have agreements with an intention to jointly develop liquefied natural gas projects and gas infrastructure in Venezuelan cities, the statement said.

The original agreement was signed July 24 in Minsk by Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Ozenets. The two countries also signed a MOU to set up a joint venture for seismic exploration.

--Jens Erik Gould,