Venezuela to Invest $5 Billion in Orinoco Oil Belt, Chavez Says

Venezuela, a founding member of the OPEC oil cartel, will invest $5 billion in the Orinoco heavy crude belt in 2012 to increase production, President Hugo Chavez said today on state television, without providing additional information.

The South American country expects to increase production to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2012 and 4 million barrels a day in 2014, from about 3 million barrels a day now, Chavez said. Venezuela wants to produce 6 million barrels of oil a day in 2019 and 10 million barrels daily by 2030, he said.

OPEC, in its December Oil Market Report, said that Venezuela produced 2.36 million barrels of oil a day in November.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at

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