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RIL joins Venezuela oil block development plan

Reliance Industries (RIL) and Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) have signed a joint study agreement for a development plan for the Ayacucho Block 8 in Orinoco oil belt of Venezuela, RIL said in Mumbai on Thursday.

"RIL and PdVSA have also extended the term of the MoU signed between the parties last year by one year for continued cooperation," a company release added.

RIL signed the MoU last year with PdVSA to produce heavy oil in the Orinoco extra heavy crude belt.

"The signing of the joint study agreement for Ayacucho Block 8 and the extension of MoU marks further strengthening of the long standing relationship between RIL and PdVSA as well as between India and Venezuela," RIL said.

RIL buys crude oil from Venezuela for its refineries in Jamnagar. Its refineries are suited to process cheaper Venezuelan crude, which provide better margins.

RIL and PdVSA also plan to work together on studies of how to update and improve Venezuela's refinery network, as well as on tapping offshore natural gas reserves.