Venezuela, China ink $16bn oil deal

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Naiguata, Sep 17: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that it signed 16-billion-dollar deal with China to drill for oil in the resource-rich Orinoco basin.

"Yesterday (Tuesday), a deal was signed in Beijing for the Orinoco basin. It sets out a Chinese investment of 16 billion dollars over the next three years," Chavez said at a public event.

He a gave few details of the pact and did not name the Chinese companies involved, but said they would form a joint venture with state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to produce 450,000 barrels a day of extra heavy crude.

The joint venture is also expected to produce 4,50,000 barrels a day by 2012, Chavez said.

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