Russia's Rosneft, Venezuela's PDVSA step up cooperation
MOSCOW, July 29 (Reuters) - Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft and Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA have signed deals, including on offshore gas development and oil products trading, Rosneft said on Friday.
Rosneft has been active in Venezuela, which is seen as Moscow's political ally. It is working on five upstream projects jointly with PDVSA.
Analysts have worried that Rosneft's large-scale projects, including heavy oil development in Venezuela, will challenge Rosneft's finances.
The company said on Friday its head Igor Sechin, a long-standing ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, had signed deals with PDVSA on a feasibility study of three natural gas offshore blocks in Venezuela. Production of gas there could total 9 billion cubic metres per year.
Venezuela is chasing investment to meet its ambitious oil production goals and to try to counter a biting economic crisis.
The companies have also signed trading deals, which foresee swaps of crude oil and oil product supplies between Rosneft and PDVSA. Supplies are expected to start this year. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov)
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