Venezuela says to keep boosting oil exports to China, India
By Corina Pons
CARACAS Nov 6 (Reuters) - Venezuela will continue to boost oil exports to China and India to capitalize on their booming economies, the OPEC member's oil minister said on Thursday.
"That's where we have to keep building our markets because those are the countries that have the biggest year-on-year growth," Asdrubal Chavez told a parliamentary committee.
"We're going to keep increasing our shipments to Asia: India and China," he added, without specifying figures.
Venezuela's exports of crude oil and refined products slipped 5.6 percent in 2013 from the year earlier to 2.43 million barrels per day, according to state oil company PDVSA .
The United States remains the top destination for Venezuelan oil exports. But shipments are down 49 percent from a decade ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as Venezuela's socialist government seeks to wean itself from dependence on its ideological foe to the north.
Meanwhile, Asia has become an increasingly important market for Caracas.
Venezuela has said it exports roughly 500,000 bpd of crude oil to China, part of which is used to pay off oil-for-financing agreements. The country exported more than 400,000 bpd to India last year, according to EIA estimates.
"Our job is to keep diversifying our markets," Chavez said. Continuación...