The Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela Venezuela has invited Belarus to help certify heavy crude reserves in its oil-rich Orinoco River basin, the government said in a statement Friday.
The two countries have signed a memorandum of understanding to certify reserves in the Junin 1 block of the Orinoco, the statement said.
Venezuela has been seeking the help of state oil companies from politically aligned nations, including China and Iran, to certify heavy, tar-like crude deposits in the basin, believed to be one of the largest oil deposits on the planet.
Meanwhile, President Hugo Chavez has sought to strengthen ties with his Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, who shares his anti-U.S. views.
Belarus has small oil and gas deposits, but imports most of its fuel from Russia.