Venezuela to consider crude production bump with Russia's Rosneft, minister says

CARACAS, March 6 (Reuters) - Venezuela has laid out a work plan to increase crude production with Russian oil company Rosneft, the South American country's oil minister said Monday.

Following a meeting with Rosneft president Igor Sechin, Venezuelan Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami said on Twitter they planned "to increase crude oil production and advance new business opportunities".

Sechin arrived in Venezuela on Sunday to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of the South American country's former president Hugo Chavez, who was a close ally of Russia.

Moscow has become a lender of last resort for Caracas, with the Russian government and Rosneft providing at least $17 billion in loans and credit since 2006.

El Aissami said Rafael Tellechea, head of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), was at the meeting to discuss "the prospects of the world oil market" and the "shared challenges" of the companies in their respective nations.

Russian companies operate in Venezuela under five joint ventures with PDVSA, producing around 80,000 barrels per day.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Caracas last December to discuss both the volatility of the oil market and the status of Venezuela's outstanding debts to Russia.

Reporting by Vivian Sequera, Deisy Buitrago and Marianna Parraga; Writing by Oliver Griffin and Kylie Madry; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Sonali Paul

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