(RIA Novosti) - Stable oil prices and energy cooperation will be at the focus of talks Thursday between the presidents of Venezuela and Russia, a Kremlin source said.
Hugo Chavez, who was elected president in 1998, will meet with Vladimir Putin to discuss global energy security problems, including high and unstable oil prices, and increasing demand for energy resources, reports Trend.
"These issues will be on the agenda of talks with President Hugo Chavez, including those in the light of initiatives on global energy security that have been adopted under Russia's presidency of the Group of Eight industrialized nations," the source said.
He also said Russia, the world no.2 oil exporter, and Venezuela, which has 7% of the world's oil reserves, prioritized energy among other areas of economic cooperation.
"Leading Russian companies, including Gazprom, LUKoil, Zarubezhneftgaz, Tekhnopromexport, and others are very proactive on the Venezuelan market," the source said.
In August 2005, Gazprom (RTS:GAZP) was announced a winner of the Phase A tender for Rafael Urdaneta natural gas project and received licenses for prospecting and development of gas fields in the Bay of Venezuela with estimated capacity of 100 billion cubic meters.
Russia's energy giant is also considering participation in the construction of a $15-billion gas pipeline Venezuela-Brazil-Argentina by 2011.
While visiting the Russian city of Volgograd at the beginning of his three-day visit to Russia, the outspoken Venezuelan leader said Russia was a strategic partner for Venezuela in the energy sphere and that he was planning to sign an agreement on the construction of a pipe-making plant in his country.
"We will sign in Moscow an agreement on the construction of a pipe-making plant," Chavez said. "It will be a mega project, which we will also sign with Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia."
The South American leader also said that his country needed 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) of pipes for a $20 billion gas pipeline to connect Venezuela with the Caribbean coast.
Venezuela has proven reserves of natural gas totaling 4.1 trillion cu m and produces about 30 bln cu m of gas per year. The country also has proven reserves of oil totaling 11.2 billion tons (82.3 bln bbl). The total length of pipelines in the country is 5,000km (3,100 miles).