Oji travels to Venezuela to strengthen bilateral energy co-op

Oji travels to Venezuela to strengthen bilateral energy co-op
Fecha de publicación: 
14 April 2023
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Oji, who has traveled to Venezuela in order to strengthen energy cooperation in the upstream and downstream areas, was welcomed by the country's officials.

During this trip, he will meet and discuss with Venezuelan political and economic authorities to develop activities and define new areas of cooperation.

Back in last December, Oji had discussed the latest developments in the oil market in a phone conversation with his Venezuelan counterpart Tareck El Aissami.

The officials also talked about the development of energy cooperation between the two countries and followed up on the recent agreements reached between the two sides.

Iran and Venezuela have taken a new path to expand cooperation in all areas over the past two years, and the Latin American country has been one of the focal points of the Iranian oil ministry’s foreign diplomacy.

In May 2022, during a visit of the Iranian oil minister to Venezuela, the two countries signed several agreements and memorandums of understanding in various fields including the development of Venezuela’s oil and gas fields, upgrading and renovation of the country’s refineries, training of manpower in oil, gas and petrochemical industries, transfer of engineering and technical services and development of export markets for Venezuelan crude oil, gas condensate and petroleum products.

Later in June, heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited Tehran to sign a 20-year cooperation document with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The strategic document included cooperation in the fields of politics, culture, economy, oil, petrochemicals, and tourism.

The cooperation between Iran and Venezuela, which had already begun with the exports of Iranian gasoline to this country in 2020, entered a new phase and expanded to other sectors following the signing of the mentioned document.

In September 2022, Venezuela increased its oil shipments to Asia through intermediaries and growing cargo swaps with Iran so that the country’s crude exports reached their third-highest level this year.

The OPEC member's oil exports were volatile in early 2022 due to a lack of diluents required to produce exportable grades and unstable output amid processing outages and scarce drilling equipment.

But oil production and exports regained their footing in the third quarter, helped by Iran's supplies of condensate and crude to state-run oil company PDVSA, and deliveries of Venezuelan heavy crude and fuel oil to Iranian state companies.

Iran has been swapping Venezuelan heavy oil and other commodities for gasoline, condensate, refinery parts, and technical assistance while providing the country with lighter oil to be used as diluent.

As its oil output becomes heavier, Venezuela struggles to source medium and light grades for its refineries, contributing to limited production and intermittent scarcity of motor fuels. The South American country also increasingly needs lighter crudes or refined products to turn its extra heavy oil output into exportable grades.

The country began shipping in heavy crude oil from Iran to use as feedstock in domestic refineries in May.

Iranian crude, which is similar in quality to Venezuela's Mesa 30 crude, has helped PDVSA boost operations in its main oil-producing region, the Orinoco Belt.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the ninth meeting of the Iran-Venezuela Joint Economic Committee, which was held in Tehran in mid-November 2022, Venezuelan Transportation Minister Ramon Blazquez met with Head of Iran’s National Development Fund (NDF) Mehdi Ghazanfari, during which the Iranian side expressed readiness for investment in Venezuela’s oil and petrochemical projects.

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