China, Venezuela boost gas cooperation, extend credit line

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Venezuela and China have advanced plans to commercialize gas from the South American country during a meeting of high-level officials in Beijing, according to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

The talks included representatives of the China Development Bank, who agreed to extend a US$5bn credit line to the crisis-stricken OPEC nation, according to widespread media reports.

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"[Conversations] focused on the deepening of economic alliances and the development of joint projects," PDVSA said in a statement on Thursday.

The Caracas-based company added: "[This] consolidates the discussion of agreements... aimed at strengthening joint gas commercialization projects."

Chinese state oil company CNPC has stakes in several Venezuelan oil and gas joint ventures, including Sinovensa, Petrourica and Petrozumano.

The meeting came ahead of an official visit by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who was due to arrive in Beijing on Thursday.

Venezuela is seeking continued financial support from China as it grapples with hyperinflation, severe food shortages and a mass exodus of its people.

Analysts have blamed the crisis on failed economic policies adopted by Maduro, who began a second six-year term in May following elections that were widely denounced as rigged.