Gazprom to set up oil venture with Petroleos de Venezuela

Russia, aiming to strengthen its presence in Latin America, has signed an agreement with Venezuela regarding setting up of a joint venture between Russia's oil and gas behemoth Gazprom and Venezuelan oil and gas corporation Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA) for rendering services to the oil and gas industry.

The agreement was signed between PdVSA vice-president Eulogio Del Pino and Gazprom's president for International Exploration and Production, Boris Ivanov.

Earlier, a visiting high-level Russian delegation led by the Russian deputy premier Igor Sechin had discussions with Venezuelan minister of energy and petroleum, Rafael Ramirez.

The two countries also signed a series of bilateral agreements for enhancing cooperation in a wide range of areas including finance, trade, energy, mining, telecommunications, agriculture and food, fishing, education, environment, transportation, and defense. 

Sechin said Russia is privileged to strengthen its relations with Venezuela and thanked the country's president Hugo Chavez for his contribution in developing the strategic relationship between the two countries for the benefit of the people of both the countries.

''We make our best effort to keep our relations at the very best level,'' Sechin said.