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Venezuela and Japan sign energy cooperation memorandum

The participation of Japanese firms in activities related to oil and natural gas in Venezuela will expand, affirmed Rafael Ramírez, Minister of People’s Power for Energy and Oil and President of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA, Venezuela’s state owned oil company), following a meeting with Taro Aso, Prime Minister of Japan.

The meeting was preceded by the signing of a memorandum of understanding in energy cooperation between Venezuela’s Ministry of People’s Power for Energy and Oil, and Japan’s Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry.  The memorandum states that both countries are willing to work together in areas of training personnel and technical assistance, as well as in the exploration, production and supplying of natural gas and oil.

The parties also agreed to cooperate in the expansion and operation of refineries and petrochemical plants, so as to increase ties between Japan and Venezuela.

“Venezuela’s enormous oil reserves are available for Japan,” affirmed Ramírez, who also said that increased participation by Japanese companies will help guarantee the supply of oil to their country.

Toshihiro Nikai, Japan’s Minister of Economics, Trade and Industry, noted that Venezuela is a country rich in natural resources.  As such, his country’s energy companies are very interested in participating in the process of finding partners for drilling oil in the Orinoco Oil Belt, which has the highest oil reserves on the planet and is currently being certified.

On the first day of his visit to Japan, Minister Ramírez also met with Hiroshi Watanabe, President of the JBC, and Kaoru Yosano, Statment Minister for Political Economy and Finance.  Together they reviewed opportunities for business and trade.

Minister Ramírez also confirmed that Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, will visit Japan on April 6th.

Ministry of People’s Power for Energy and Oil, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / March 19, 2009

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