Green light for Russian companies in Venezuela

Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksandr Zhukov, has said the world's largest aluminium producer Rusal has got the go-ahead for major expansion in Venezuela. Zhukov confirmed he has reached an agreement with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to set

“Many of our companies willing to work Venezuela need governmental support. Within the framework of a high-level inter-governmental commission, we intend to solve all issues associated with the bureaucratic obstacles our companies often face,” Mr Zhukov stated.

The First Deputy Prime Minister also said Gazprom had asked to take part in three gas projects in the country. The applications for Gas delta Caribe Oriental, Mariscal sucre and Platforma del Tana are to be considered within the next six months.

Meanwhile, Russia's largest pipe maker, TMK, has closed a deal to supply Venezuela with about 25,000 tonnes of pipe. There's bound to be plenty more to come, as the Venezuelan authorities have said they plan to buy up to 750,000 tonnes.

Also, Russian oil giant Lukoil and Venezuelan Petroleum are to sign an agreement in December on the exploration and development of a field together. Aleksandr Zhukov added that Lukoil's share will comprise some 40 per cent and that talks about the deals are in progress.