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Venezuela to produce more than five mln bpd in 2012: Chavez
Cat : Miscellaneous
Date : 2006-08-27 13:51:09                      Reader : 300
Venezuela interests com first not American. This is the right of all countries not only US.

Associated France Press (AFP) 27/8/2006

Venezuela to produce more than five mln bpd in 2012: Chavez


BEIJING (AFP) - Venezuela will boost its oil output to more than five million barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 and will seek new clients to lessen its dependence on the United States, President Hugo Chavez said.

"Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world. We have begun a new expansion phase in our oil production ... which should bring output to more than five million barrels a day in 2012," Chavez told reporters here.

"The increase is significant. We're going to nearly double current production in the first few years of the next decade, beyond 2012," he added, noting that a large chunk of the new output would go to China.

"Of these new 2.5 million (barrels), a million of them will go to China," he told reporters.

Venezuela, the fifth biggest exporter of oil in the world, currently produces 3.27 million bpd, 1.5 million of which are exported to the United States, by far its biggest market.

"Venezuela has always sent oil to the United States. In fact, Venezuela was an American colony, but that's over. We are free now, though that's been a bit difficult," Chavez said, noting however that exports to the US had not dropped.

The Venezuelan leader, who was making his fourth visit to China since taking office, on Thursday pledged to dramatically increase oil exports to the Asian giant.

On Friday, he hailed what he called the "consolidation of the energy alliance" between Venezuela -- the only Latin American member of OPEC -- and China, the world's second-largest energy consumer.

"It's a strategic advance, both for Venezuela and for China, and I think this has a significance that transcends our two countries," Chavez said.

"Ten years ago, we said it was impossible to send a single barrel to China as it's too far, but that's a lie -- this is how global trade works," he said.

"We're now exporting 150,000 bpd to China, and we started from zero," he added.

Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez reiterated that China was Caracas' top oil priority.

"We're working with India, Indonesia and Vietnam -- with the Asian market which is one that is growing, but our fundamental goal is to satisfy Chinese demand," he told reporters.

Chavez was due to wrap up his six-day visit to China on Sunday. He will then travel to Malaysia and Angola.

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