Venezuela, Cuba Sign Oil-Exploration Agreements

CARACAS Jan 25, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Venezuela and Cuba have agreed to explore for oil in Venezuela's Orinoco tar basin and in Cuba's section of the Gulf of Mexico, reported Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. in a statement.

The documents, which call for oil exploration and the certification of oil reserves, were signed Wednesday night during a visit by Cuban officials to Caracas.

In the Orinoco, PdVSA and Cubapetroleo, or Cupet, will explore for and certify reserves at the Boyaca North block. In Cuba's Gulf of Mexico, the two companies will explore four offshore blocks.

Venezuela has boosted commercial and political ties with Cuba under Chavez, shipping the country oil under preferential payments terms and helping the country revamp oil infrastructure.

In the Orinoco, Venezuela has invited foreign state oil companies from Uruguay to Vietnam to help certify ta oil reserves. Venezuela claims the area is the largest hydrocarbons deposit on the planet, and plans to book aroun 230 billion barels of additional reserves in the area.

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