By KEJAL VYAS
CARACAS -- Venezuelan state oil monopoly Petroleos de
Venezuela, or PdVSA, signed a 15-year crude supply contract
with Indias Reliance Industries that will send as much as
400,000 bpd to the Asian country over the long term.
The contract, inked by officials from both countries in
Caracas on Tuesday, will begin with shipments of 300,000 bbl
and increase over time, Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez
P.M.S. Prasad, executive vice president at Reliance, said
the crude will feed India's Jamnagar refinery and will help the rapidly
growing Asian economy meet its growing energy needs.
He said the supply contract could run longer than 15
Venezuela, which has been looking to diversify its oil
exports to Asian economies, currently sends around 270,000 bpd
to India, Mr. Ramirez said.
PdVSA said earlier this month that it plans to raise overall
shipments to India to 518,000 bpd by 2018.
The latest supply contract will raise PdVSA's Asia shipments
to 820,000 bpd. Around 640,000 bpd go to China, of which more
than 200,000 go toward repaying nearly $40 billion in loans
granted by the Asian giant to President Hugo Chavez's
During a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Mr. Ramirez said that
the Indian energy company is also
evaluating its participation in the Ayacucho and Boyaca blocs
in Venezuela's massive Orinoco heavy oil belt.
Dow Jones Newswires