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Indian state oil firms increase investment in Venezuela

11th July 2012

ONGC Videsh plans to invest USD 3bn in the Latin American nation

Indian state oil firms increase investment in Venezuela
India is importing approximately 80 per cent of its crude needs to meet increasing local and refinery demands

Indian government-run oil companies are seeking to increase investments in Venezuela, including higher sourcing of crude oil from the Latin American nation, India’s minister of state for commerce and industry said on Wednesday.

The overseas branch of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC Videsh) plans to invest USD 3bn in oil and gas exploration in Venezuela in conjunction with other government-run firms.

Currently the world's number four oil importer, importing approximately 80 per cent of its crude needs, India has been assessing oil and gas opportunities abroad to meet an increasing local demand.

In 2011, Venezuela overtook Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest holder of proven oil reserves, according to data released by OPEC. Its deposits stacked at 296.5 bn barrels, while those of the Middle Eastern country held at 265.4bn barrels. Venezuela’s Orinoco river delta has some of the world’s biggest oil deposits in the world.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez relies on oil for more than 90 per cent of export revenue and around 45 per cent of government spending, a dependence reflected in the several energy agreements signed with BRIC countries over the past year.

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