CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's energy minister says the
government is making progess on long-term plans to dramatically
boost oil production and is also working to diversify an economy
that remains heavily reliant on oil wealth.
Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez says the country aims to boost
production of heavy crude in the eastern Orinoco River basin by
about 15 percent this year, and by more than 15 percent next year.
Venezuela aims to increase its oil output from about 3 million
barrels a day currently to about 4 million barrels a day in 2015.
Ramirez spoke in an interview on Friday night with The
Associated Press and The Guardian. He says the vast oil reserves in
the Orinoco region are "a frontier that's opening up," with a
host of international companies involved.