Venezuela Secures Energy Deals With China

Via the Wall Street Journal, a report on China’s recent deals with Venezuela:

Venezuela will partner with China National Petroleum Corp. on a $14 billion development project in the country’s Orinoco heavy oil belt, one of a handful of investments secured by Venezuelan officials during a trip to China this week in preparation for President Nicolás Maduro’s state visit to Beijing on Saturday.

Venezuela is looking to fortify relations with its Asian ally, which over the last several years has granted the South American country around $40 billion in loans. In exchange, China receives 600,000 barrels of oil a day and access to Venezuela’s vast natural resources, whose development still requires massive investment.

The state visit will be Mr. Maduro’s first since taking office in April, following the death of charismatic leader Hugo Chávez. Relations between China and Venezuela broadly strengthened during Mr. Maduro’s almost seven years as foreign minister in the Chávez administration.

Venezuela’s Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez, who is among those leading the Venezuelan delegation seeking to secure investments for the country’s mining and energy sectors, said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday that the new deal with CNPC will go toward the Junín 10 bloc, set to produce 220,000 barrels a day.

Mr. Ramírez didn’t give further details. The post was confirmed by a spokesman at state energy company Petróleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA.

Early production at Junín 10 started last year with PdVSA as sole operator after Venezuela scrapped plans to seek a partner in early 2010.

A day earlier, Mr. Ramírez said a separate deal was reached with China Petrochemical Corp., also known as Sinopec, to develop Venezuela’s Junín 1 heavy oil bloc, which will also require $14 billion and produce 200,000 barrels a day.

Officials also finalized terms for a previously announced injection of $5 billion into a joint development fund between Venezuela and the China Development Bank, said Mr. Ramírez.

The $5 billion loan from China could help Venezuela in the short term by giving the government more dollars to funnel into the local economy, said Barclays analyst Alejandro Arreaza.

The country has struggled with dollar liquidity problems stemming from imbalances in its strict government-controlled foreign-exchange system. The resulting shortage of greenbacks has led to sharp depreciation of the local currency on the black market.

In addition, the Export-Import Bank of China will loan Venezuela’s state petrochemicals company Pequiven $390 million for a new port.

Mr. Ramírez said his party had secured funding from Chinese banks for a mining survey around the country and had agreed with China’s Citic Group to move forward with gold-mining projects in Venezuela’s large Las Cristinas deposits.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 at 5:34 am and is filed under China, Venezuela.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.