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Venezuela, Iran to Jointly Develop Oil

Venezuela's state oil giant PDVSA has formed a joint venture with Iran

Venezuela's state oil giant PDVSA has formed a joint venture with Iranian company Sadra America Latina to support offshore oil exploration and development, PDVSA said Friday, according to AFP.

The new company, Venezirian, will offer engineering, construction and repair services for offshore platforms, PDVSA said in a statement. At first it will involve building offshore structures in Iran and assembling them in Venezuela, but eventually it will involve building them in Venezuela.

PDVSA said the company will enable the transfer of technology to Venezuela, leading to greater local capabilities to supply the oil industry.

According to China official news agency Xinhua, the joint venture will benefit Venezuela because Sadra is well versed in developing deep sea projects and will target new gas developments, the statement said. "For PDVSA, from a strategic point of view, we will get rid of dependence and gain technological autonomy and integration between our two nations," it said. "The idea is to make the machinery in Venezuela and then export technology, and work with these joint ventures in other brother nations which have offshore deposits."

Sadra America Latina is a division of Sadra, an Iranian marine construction firm that has been expanding into the offshore oil and natural gas business.

Venezuela is struggling to develop offshore natural gas fields to plug a domestic gas deficit and begin exporting the fuel, Dow Jones reported. Venezuela also uses offshore platforms in the shallower waters of Lake Maracaibo, one of the country's largest oil-producing regions.