BEIJING – State-owned PetroChina and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, have formed a joint venture to pursue exploration and production projects in Venezuela, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.
China’s largest oil company will hold a 40 percent stake in the joint venture, PetroChina CEO Jiang Jiemin told company directors.
PetroChina also approved the signing of a loan totaling 100 billion yuan ($14.7 billion) to fund foreign operations in 2009.
“The drop in oil prices on the international market represents a special opportunity for expanding horizons,” PetroChina said.
PetroChina and PDVSA plan to form two other joint ventures that will focus on transporting crude and developing two refineries, one of which will be in the southern province of Canton, Jiang said.
The executive did not provide specific figures on the agreements reached with PDVSA.
PetroChina, the world’s second-largest oil company in terms of market capitalization, trailing only U.S. behemoth ExxonMobil Corporation, expects to produce 40 million tons of Venezuelan petroleum annually, Jiang said.
The joint venture created by PetroChina and PDVSA will allow the oil companies to work together and cut exploration and production costs.