MEHR: Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji has traveled to Venezuela to discuss ways to “strengthen energy relations” between the two friendly nations, according to the Latin American country’s foreign ministry.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the ministry said Owji will meet Venezuelan officials and visit the facilities belonging to the state-run energy firm PDVSA.
“The delegation will be in Caracas until April 14, maintaining intense work schedule, which includes meetings and visits to PDVSA facilities, as well as meetings with government authorities,” the statement read.
Owji has already met with his Venezuelan counterpart, Pedro Rafael Tellechea, who also heads PDVSA, a source at the firm told Reuters, adding that the Iranian oil minister plans to visit the El Palito refinery.
Iran and Venezuela, both subject to illegal US sanctions, signed a 20-year cooperation deal last June during a state visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Tehran. The document covered the energy sector, among other areas of cooperation.
Venezuela, which has the world’s largest crude reserves, has struggled in recent years to produce enough gasoline and diesel due to refinery outages as a result of US bans and a political turmoil which also has its roots in Washington.
Tehran has strengthened ties with Caracas, providing crude and condensate as well as parts and feedstock for Venezuela’s aging 1.3 million barrel per day oil (bpd) refining network.
It has also overseen a project to modernize the largest refining complex in Venezuela.