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CITIC Group to acquire 10% stakes in Venezuela's Petropiar

Feb. 29, 2012 (China Knowledge) - CITIC Group, China's largest state-owned investment conglomerate, has signed an agreement with Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, to acquire a 10% stake in Petropiar oil venture, said Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez.

Petropia, the heavy oil upgrader facility, is currently operating as a joint venture between state-owned PDVSA and Chevron Corp, is capable of processing 180,000 barrels of heavy oil yielded in Orinoco block, Venezuela.

Ramirez added that the two sides are still in the negotiation of transaction price.

Upon the completion of CITIC Group's acquisition, PDVSA's shareholdings in Petropia will be diluted from 70% to 60%.

Last Friday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and CITIC Group inked a series of accords, including plans to build offshore oilfield platforms and develop the Las Cristinas gold mine formerly operated by a Canada-based Crystallex International Corp.

China offered nearly US$36 billion of loans to Venezuelan in recent years in exchange for crude oil shipments of 460,000 barrels per day, sources reported.

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