Ramirez signals oilfield progress

VENEZUELA: Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez reported at the weekend that the country is making progress on long-term plans to dramatically boost oil output.

Mr Ramirez said that the country intends to increase production of heavy crude in the eastern Orinoco River basin in order to lift output from about 3 million barrels a day now to about 4 million barrels a day in 2015.

The minister said the government was working to reduce reliance on oil revenue, which accounts for about 95 per cent of export earnings, by supporting other state-run industries and agriculture projects.