Chavez, Duarte Agree on Bi-national E&P Commission

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his Paraguayan counterpart Nicanor Duarte have agreed to form a bi-national commission to study E&P of crude in Paraguay, Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA reported.

"Paraguay has a lot of potential that must be developed and turned into power," Chavez said in the statement, adding that a commission of Venezuelan oil experts would travel to Paraguay soon.

Chavez and Duarte met during the latter's first official visit to Caracas.

If the bi-national project bears fruit, it would be a first for the Venezuelan state oil company, as PDVSA has never performed E&P outside Venezuela. Paraguay is an importer of gasoline and has a limited, joint E&P initiative in India that began last year.

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