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Venezuela, India Sign Oil Deals Worth $1.45 Billion

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, center, and Executive Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Narendra Kumar Verma, flash victory hand signs as they pose for a photo in Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 4, 2016. At right is PDVSA President Eulogio Del Pino.

Venezuela signed oil production deals with India and a local corporation Friday totaling nearly $1.45 billion.

Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), and Venezuela’s consortium Delta Finance BV — led by local Delta Petroleum — are set to increase oil production.

“I want to thank you for your confidence in our oil industry, your confidence in our country and to tell you that we are reliable partners to continue working, producing and to continue winning with these partnerships,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said to the partners Friday.

The agreement comes amid a severe economic crisis in Venezuela, and it is seen as a way to boost oil production, pay off debts, obtain funds from other foreign partners, and increase the country’s oil income.

The Indo-Venezuelan partnership, created in 2009, is expected to double the San Cristobal field daily oil production from 20,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil.

Local Delta Petroleum also became a partner with PDVSA after buying Houston-based Harvest Natural Resources.

PDVSA plans to increase production at Petrodelta, which is now 40 percent owned by Delta Petroleum, from 40,000 barrels per day to 110,000.

Venezuela officials say agreements like these “signed by state oil companies are an unequivocal demonstration of their capacity and resources.”