Venezuela's PDVSA will use part of Rosneft cash for Orinoco expansion
CARACAS May 24 (Reuters) - Venezuela's state-run oil firm PDVSA said on Saturday a $2 billion pre-payment from Russian oil producer Rosneft will be destined in part to develop its coveted Orinoco belt.
State-run Rosneft earlier on Saturday announced a flurry of deals including a long-term contract with PDVSA for 1.6 million tonnes of oil and 7.5 million tonnes of oil products within five years.
Venezuela is struggling with stagnant oil and natural gas production, and has its sights set on the vast southern Orinoco belt as a way to boost production.
"We're focusing all our technological capacity to develop this oil province which will give us 150 years of production at a rate of 6 million barrels per day, (as per) our aim for 2019," PDVSA President and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said in a statement.
Ramirez added the region has investments of around $235 billion planned. Rosneft itself is a minority stakeholder in several partnerships with PDVSA to develop projects in the area.
The Venezuelan oil firm is undergoing a cash crunch, as it finances most of the socialist government's spending and does not receive cash for a third of its crude and products exports due to debt agreements and international supply pacts.
News of the deal comes days after the company announced it had been granted a total of $2 billion in credit lines by oilfield services companies Halliburton Co, Schlumberger NV and Weatherford International Ltd. (Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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