Energy Agreements Scheduled for Signing During State Visit

Ecuador and Venezuela will sign several energy agreements during the visit of President Hugo Chavez to Quito that starts on Tuesday, state news agency ABN quoted Venezuela's foreign minister Ali Rodriguez as saying.

The agreements are aimed at increasing "economic complementation," said Rodriguez, former president of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, without giving additional details.

Energy and oil minister and present PDVSA president Rafael Ramirez will accompany Chavez during the tour and has indicated the agreements could range from the refining of Ecuadorian crude in Venezuelan refineries to E&P by PDVSA in Ecuador.

Ecuador has refining bottlenecks and previous offers of Venezuelan help to process Ecuadorian crude have not resulted in any firm action to date.

Ecuador would be the second country outside Venezuela where PDVSA has operated upstream. The company signed an E&P deal with Bolivia last week.

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