Iranian oil minister in Venezuela to deepen energy ties

13 Apr 2023

Iranian oil minister in Venezuela to deepen energy ties

Owji's visit comes a few months after Iran began work on a major overhaul of Venezuela's largest refinery complex

By News Desk; The Cradle

April 13, 2023


Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji visited Venezuela on 12 April to meet with several Venezuelan officials and discuss ways to “strengthen energy relations” between the two countries.”

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry published a statement on Wednesday saying Owji is scheduled to meet with officials until 14 April to discuss various facilities belonging to state-owned oil giant PDVSA.

“The delegation will be in Caracas until April 14, maintaining an intense work schedule, which includes meetings and visits to PDVSA facilities, as well as meetings with government authorities,” the statement said.

In addition, Reuters reported that Owji already met with his Venezuelan counterpart, Pedro Rafael Tellechea — who also heads PDVSA — and is expected to visit the El Palito refinery soon.

Iran recently started work on a major overhaul of Venezuela’s largest oil refinery complex, the Paraguana Refining Center.

The news was revealed hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during an official visit to Caracas on 3 February.

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.

Military cooperation between the allied nations has also increased over the past decade.

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.

Last year in June, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro spoke of his hopes to “create an indestructible friendship for the future” between the people of Venezuela and Iran.

“I believe that between the two of us, we will create an indestructible friendship for the future of our people, and we will witness how our countries grow in the face of difficulties and how a new world is growing,” he said.