Venezuela’s Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez is predicting extra output of 50,000 barrels per day from new projects in the vast Orinoco oil fields this year.
He says investment deals with foreign companies for Orinoco development projects will eventually add 2.1 million barrels per day of new production.
However industry experts have expressed doubts about when the projects will come online. They point to mismanagement by state oil firm PDVSA, which has a majority stake in each Orinoco block, as well as investor aversion to socialist-run Venezuela.
Ramirez spoke to reporters after meeting Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. The pair were due to visit the Orinoco region, where Turkey has an interest in two blocks.
Yildiz said Venezuela might participate in a refinery project in Turkey. He declined to give more details.
Ramirez recently said Venezuela has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world leader in oil reserves with certified deposits of 297 billion barrels.