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September 8, 2009

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Venezuela and Iran ink energy contracts

VENEZUELA and Iran will each invest US$760 million in the other's energy sectors under deals signed during a visit to Tehran by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Iran's Oil Ministry Website, SHANA, said yesterday.

It said state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA would invest US$760 million in the development of phase 12 of Iran's giant South Pars natural gas field in the Gulf.

"Based on the agreement, Iran also pledged to invest US$760 million in the development of Venezuelan oil field Dobokubi as well as the development of Block 7 of the Ayacucho oil field," SHANA said.

Venezuela also pledged to export 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day to Iran to a total value of US$800 million, the Website said, adding that the amount would be put in a fund that will be used to finance sales of machinery, technology and other services by Iran to Venezuela.

Iran is the world's fifth leading oil exporter but its refineries lack the capacity to meet domestic fuel demand, so it imports up to 40 percent of its gasoline.

It imports about 120,000 bpd of gasoline.

Tehran, in a face-off with the West over its nuclear program, may face sanctions on its gasoline imports if a diplomatic solution is not found.


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