Venezuela's Chavez invites Turkey's TOKİ to construct homes

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he wants the Housing Development Administration of Turkey to construct homes in his country.

Venezuela's Chavez invites Turkey's TOKİ to construct homes

World Bulletin / News Desk

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he wants the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) to construct homes in his country.

Chavez received Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız at the presidential palace on Thursday. According to information the Anatolia news agency acquired from local authorities, the Venezuelan president noted that he would like to see TOKİ working in Venezuela to construct homes. “We need about 2 million houses in Venezuela and therefore urgently want to see TOKİ in this country. They [TOKİ] can start the construction of the houses immediately by choosing their own contractors,” Chavez said.

Chavez said he is planning a trip to China in April and would also like to visit Turkey at that time, Anatolia stated.

Yıldız arrived in the capital city of Caracas on Tuesday and first met with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro Moros. According to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, the country plans to discuss providing oil to Turkey in exchange for funding for housing and other infrastructure projects needed after devastating floods hit the country in December of last year. “This visit will allow us to discuss energy projects with a focus on Venezuela exchanging oil for funding for housing and infrastructure projects, areas where Turkey has made important achievements,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) President Mehmet Uysal also accompanied Yıldız on his visit.

In remarks made during a dinner Moros hosted for the Turkish delegation, he said Venezuela currently produces 3 million barrels of oil a day.

“We can reach the daily oil production of Saudi Arabia by increasing production to 7-8 million barrels per day,” he said. TPAO has been engaged in oil and natural gas exploration, particularly in Central Asian, North African and Middle Eastern countries. Turkey imports about 95 percent of the crude oil it consumes, and since 2007 it has sought to boost ties with Latin American countries to explore for oil and gas.

A few days ago, Chavez's government said Venezuela had overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world leader in oil reserves, with certified deposits leaping to 297 billion barrels at the end of 2010. Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told Reuters last weekend that the new reserves, which pushed the total 41 percent higher than the previous year, were booked in the vast Orinoco extra heavy crude belt. A jubilant Chavez told parliament that Venezuela's reserves now surpassed those of Saudi Arabia. “We have enough for 200 years,” he said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said Saudi Arabia's reserves stood at 265 billion barrels in 2009. Saudi Arabia's advantage is that its oil is mostly light, conventional, easily pumped crude, while the Orinoco deposits are extra heavy tar-like sour crude that must be upgraded or mixed with a lighter grade to create an exportable blend.

Yıldız was expected to return to Turkey evening and then to go to Azerbaijan to attend the 6th Term Meeting of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Joint Economic Commission (KEK) after a press conference at 6.30 p.m. at İstanbul Atatürk Airport.

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2011, 16:16
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