CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's energy minister says the government is making progress 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.
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