Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd, the country's largest refiner, will buy 7.5 million tonnes of crude oil from Venezuela for its upcoming export-oriented refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
Reliance struck the long-term supply deal after its CEO and president (oil and gas) P M S Prasad held a nearly one-hour meeting with Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez Ramirez in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
Under the long-term supply contract, Ramirez said, Reliance will get 1,50,000 barrels per day oil from Venezuelan oil fields.
Reliance has been buying Venezuelan crude for its existing 6,60,000 barrels per day refinery at Jamnagar.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has promised to supply India more oil on a regular basis. During talks with visiting petroleum minister Murli Deora, Chavez offered to supply one million barrels per day of crude to India in the near future.
Chavez also agreed to Deora's request for giving ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) a stake in one of the four oilfields in the Carabobo and a piece in the Junin Norte Block in the Orinoco heavy-oil basin.
''The political answer is yes," Chavez said, adding, "Now technical team (of Venezuelan national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.) will deal with technical aspects and I am certain even technical aspects will be positive."
OVL already has a 40-per cent share in the San Cristobal oilfield for which an agreement was already signed. OVL and its 60 per cent partner PdVSA expect to produce 40,000 barrels per day of oil from the field over an 8-year period. (See: ONGC Videsh in joint development pact with PDVSA for Venezuelan oil field)
The Junin area is believed to hold some 500 billion barrels of oil reserves, of which Junin Norte may have about 7-8 billion barrels. The Carabobo heavy-oil field also in the Orinoco region may hold 213 billion barrels. About 10 to 20 per cent of these reserves are recoverable.
Venezuela, which has the world's largest fossil fuel reserves, is seeking to tap emerging economies to diversify energy trade beyond US.
Chavez also indicated that the OPEC member-nation may set up a refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in India.