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Venezuela opens oil office in China
Updated: 2005-08-21 08:34

The South American country, meanwhile, also plans to expand its fleet of oil tankers so it can sell more crude to Asia and other faraway markets.

PDV Marina, an affiliate of PDVSA, plans to invest as much as US$2.2 billion (euro1.8 billion) during the next seven years to expand its fleet to 58 tankers, head of PDVSA shipping and sales Asdrubal Chavez said late Friday.

The company now owns 21 tankers that transport roughly 26 percent of Venezuela's crude production, Chavez said.

In the coming years, PDV Marina is scheduled to discard five of its oldest ships. The government hopes to build 42 new tankers in coming years so it can ship 45 percent of its crude production by 2012.

Venezuela plans to sign deals with shipbuilding companies in Spain, Brazil, China and Argentina to build the new fleet. Venezuela recently signed a deal for two tankers to be built in Argentina.

The country hopes to sell as much as 300,000 barrels a day to Asian countries, particularly China and India, by 2012, Chavez said. Venezuela currently ships roughly 50,000 barrels of oil a day to the region.

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