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India eNews: Venezuelan oil reserves will be world’s largest by 2009

From correspondents in Americas, 04:00 PM IST: Saturday, January 12, 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said that by the end of 2009, the country will have 313 billion barrels of certified oil reserves, the largest in the world, Spanish news agency EFE reported Saturday.

Chavez told lawmakers Friday that the country’s oil reserves stand at 100 billion barrels, including 20 billion ‘certified in the last two years through a strict international process’.

Chavez said when he took office in 1999, the country had 76 billion barrels of proven reserves.

With the projected 313 billion barrels in reserves, he said, Venezuela could ‘guarantee energy supply to many countries’.

Venezuela is the world’s fifth-leading oil exporter and a founding member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Caracas also supplies crude oil to a dozen Caribbean countries under Chavez’s PetroCaribe initiative.

Most of Venezuela’s projected reserves are in the Orinoco belt, estimated to have 235 billion barrels of heavy crude.

Though its high sulphur content makes heavy crude more expensive to extract and refine, the business will remain profitable as long as global oil prices remain at or above $50 a barrel, state-owned oil company PDVSA predicted.

At least 20 percent of the Orinoco oil is recoverable with the available technology, the company said.

OPEC oil was trading at just over $90 a barrel Friday.

http://www.indiaenews.com/america/20080112/91141.htm

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