CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela plans to enter into a joint venture with China to manufacture oil drills, instead of buying them from U.S. companies, President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday.
Chavez said during a speech in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas that China will “help us put together a factory to build oil drills.”
He did not specify how many drills Venezuela plans to buy or give a launch date for the venture, which will be jointly financed by Venezuelan and Chinese capital.
The world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, Venezuela sells most of its oil to the U.S., but Chavez has sought to reduce that dependency as relations between the two nations soured in recent years.
At the same time, he has worked to strengthen relations with China. The South American country presently sells 160,000 barrels a day of crude and diesel to China and aims to nearly double that to 300,000 barrels a day by the end of the year.