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Venezuela, Russia agree plans for nuclear power plant project - Chavez

RIA Novosti


CARACAS, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuela and Russia have reached an agreement to draft plans on the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the Latin American country, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday.

"We are ready to start drafting the first nuclear plant project," Chavez told a joint news conference in Caracas after talks with the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Putin arrived in Venezuela on Friday for talks on a range of issues including military-technical cooperation and joint energy projects.

During the Putin-Chavez meeting, Russia and Venezuela signed an intergovernmental agreement on the participation of Russia's National Oil Consortium in the development of the Ayacucho-3 and Hunin-3 oil deposits.

The National Oil Consortium (NNK) of Russian companies working in Venezuela includes Russian energy giant Gazprom, state-run crude producer Rosneft, Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP, Surgutneftegaz and LUKoil.

The NNK has earlier agreed to pay a total of $1 billion for the right to participate in the Hunin-6 project, which could produce up to 450,000 barrels daily by 2017.

Venezuela is one of the largest oil producing countries in the world, with about 87 billion barrels of proven conventional oil reserves as of 2008. In addition, it has huge non-conventional oil deposits (heavy crude). Most of these deposits are located in the Orinoco oil belt.

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