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 said.
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 years.
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 government.
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