BEIJING/CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela gave China another stake in the OPEC nation’s oil industry and signed several other deals in the energy sector, but Beijing made no mention of new funds for Caracas during President Nicolas Maduro’s visit to his key financier on Friday.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shake hands during their meeting in Beijing, China September 14, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
Maduro’s leftist government sold a 9.9 percent stake in the low-cost Sinovensa joint venture, where China National Petroleum Corporation has a 40 percent share, to China, it said in a statement.
The statement also said China and Venezuela had signed a “memorandum for cooperation in Ayacucho bloc 6,” located in Venezuela’s vast oil-rich Orinoco Belt, without elaborating.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and China’s Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), shake hands during their meeting in Beijing, China September 14, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
China will drill 300 wells in Ayacucho and extend $184 million in financing for the joint oil venture Petrozumano, the statement added. A source at PDVSA, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not allowed to speak to media, said oil services and procurement at Sinovensa would be handled by Chinese companies.
It was unclear what China, which has ploughed more than $50 billion into Venezuela through oil-for-loan agreements, was giving in return.