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Monday, June 05, 2006

Iran agrees to help Venezuela build oil refinery

Tehran and Caracas secured a deal to build an oil refinery in Venezuela's Faga region in the oil-rich Orinoko province, according to local media reports Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the refinery will refine heavy oil and produce gasoline and other oil derivatives.

An official from Venezuela's Petroleos said the deal will benefit both countries, adding that the heavy oil in the region could easily be refined at which time Iran will import gasoline from Venezuela.

Iran imports more than 40 percent of its gasoline and diesel products, mostly from the Middle East but also from as far away as Venezuela.

Iran has a shortage of refining capacity to produce gasoline, resulting in the need for significant levels of gasoline imports.

Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh arrived in Caracas for the 140th OPEC meeting scheduled to start on June 1.

OPEC members will hold talks to discuss the latest developments in the global oil market, including oil price and the possibility of OPEC fixing a new ceiling for oil production.
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