Officials from Sudan and Venezuela have held meetings today to discuss plans for Venezuela to invest in the African state's gas and oil industry.
The talks were part of a political consultation process and were held at the foreign ministry in Khartoum. The visiting delegation led by the Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister, Renaldo Bolivar, discussed investment opportunities in oil and gas production fields, gas processing, the establishment of refineries, deposits and petroleum utilities as well as oil pipelines and derivatives.
The meeting comes as Venezuela's economic crisis continues to deepen and Sudan continues its attempts to recover from the 75 per cent oil revenue loss following the succession of South Sudan. Despite Venezuela having the world's largest oil reserves – estimated 300 billion barrels – the South American country's economic conditions continue to deteriorate. Earlier this year, both countries signed the Oil Producing Economic Countries (OPEC) plans to decrease supply of crude oil in a bid to increase the price of oil, currently standing at around $50 per barrel.
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Sudanese Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammed Sayed Awad, offered Venezuela the chance to bid for the investment opportunity that will be put out to international tender later this year. The minister welcomed the prospect of an increase in trade deals and an exchange in expertise between the two countries.
The delegation also held meetings with the Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, Ambassador Abdul-Ghani Al-Naeem, and signed agreement to work together on international issues affecting both countries. Those issues include jointly calling for reforms of the United Nations and the Security Council and appealing for better representation for Third World countries.
Al-Naeem spoke about Sudan's efforts to deal with illegal immigration and to combat terrorism. He also updated the visiting delegation on the situation in South Sudan and Khartoum's attempts to provide humanitarian aid.
The two sides have agreed to hold the coming meetings of the joint ministerial Sudanese – Venezuelan committee in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, next year.