MEXICO CITY, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Recent changes in Venezuela's oil industry management will not affect Russian projects and investments in the country, according to Elio Ohep, the director of PetroleumWorld.
"I don't think that Ramirez's resignation may have any impact on the future of the Russian projects in Venezuela. It could have happened if President [Nicolas] Maduro's policy had changed, but by now he has been following the line of Chavez, and we think it won't change," Ohep told RIA Novosti in an interview.
Maduro on Tuesday pushed Rafael Ramirez from his posts as oil minister and a chief of state of oil firm PDVSA. Maduro promoted former PDVSA exploration and production chief Eulogio Del Pino to the company's top post and tapped Asdrubal Chavez, the cousin of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, to lead the energy and mining ministry.
According to the Venezuelan expert, Chavez and the PDVSA chief will continue cooperation with Russia that corresponds to the policy of the country's leader. "Ramirez [who took up the post of the foreign minister] will keep on supporting Maduro's line on deepening ties with the existing partners and looking for the new ones, so that Venezuela's oil potential develops," Ohep noted.
The National Oil Consortium, comprising Russian oil companies including Rosneft, Gazprom Neft and Lukoil, owns 40 percent of the PetroMiranda joint venture created between PDVSA and Russian companies to rejuvenate Junin-6 block in eastern Orinoco River Basin. The Junin-6 block covers 447 square kilometers and holds 50.6 billion barrels of crude oil in place out of which only 10.96 billion barrels are considered recoverable using current techniques.