Iran, Venezuela sign MoU on petrochemical cooperation, oil, gas
The Cradle, April 17, 2023 —
As part of the agreement, Tehran seeks to assist Caracas in the reconstruction and renovation of national oil refineries, aiming to maximize the capacity and outpost of these refineries
During the Iranian Oil Minister’s visit to Venezuela, Javad Owji signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU), on gas, oil, and petrochemical cooperation with Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodríguez and Oil Minister Pedro Rafael Tellechea, on 16 April.
Tehran seeks to assist Caracas in the reconstruction and renovation of national oil refineries, aiming to maximize the capacity and outpost of these refineries, which has been confirmed to be part of the MoU agreements.
The MoU also includes an agreement on the export and trade of oil, petroleum products, and gas condensate.
Iran recently started to work on a major overhaul of Venezuela’s largest oil refinery complex, the Paraguana Refining Center.
Owji disclosed that his visit to Caracas was to explore avenues of “strengthening relations and cooperation in the field of energy” between Venezuela and Iran.
Over the past few years, the two countries have maintained a positive relationship and bolstered cooperation in order to combat western sanctions, as they have specifically targeted their energy sectors. Since May 2020, Iran has sent five oil tankers to Venezuela, given that its oil refinery industry collapsed due to underinvestment as a result of sanctions.
The presidents of Iran and Venezuela signed a 20-year cooperation agreement in June last year in the fields of science, technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism, and culture. In the same month, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro spoke of his hopes to “create an indestructible friendship for the future” between the people of Venezuela and Iran.
As a result of the hybrid war waged on the country by the US and its allies, Venezuela’s oil output dropped from two million bpd in 2012 to just a few hundred thousand at the start of 2021, despite having some of the largest oil reserves in the world.
According to an exclusive report by The Cradle, in 2019, the late commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, visited Caracas to help with the establishment of revolutionary militias and the country’s military industrialization.