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Putin Signs Accords With Chavez in Venezuela Trip

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed billions of dollars in energy, agriculture and commercial accords with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today in Caracas during his first visit to the OPEC nation.

Under the agreements, a group of Russian energy companies including OAO Gazprom and OAO Lukoil will work with Petroleos de Venezuela SA in an $18 billion project to develop an oil field that will eventually produce 450,000 barrels per day, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters on March 31.