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Chevron Agrees To Lend $2B To Joint Venture With Venezuela State Oil Company

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Venezuela's Minister of Petroleum and Mining and president of the state owned oil company PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, left, shakes hands with Chevron Africa and Latin America chief Ali Moshiri, during a signing-of-agreements ceremony in Caracas, on May 27, 2013. (credit: LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Venezuela’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining and president of the state owned oil company PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, left, shakes hands with Chevron Africa and Latin America chief Ali Moshiri, during a signing-of-agreements ceremony in Caracas, on May 27, 2013. (credit: LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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CARACAS, Venezuela (CBS Sacramento/AP) — Chevron Corp. has agreed to lend $2 billion to a joint venture with Venezuela’s state oil company in an effort to boost production in an oil field in western Zulia state.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez signed the loan deal Monday with Ali Moshiri, Chevron’s head in Latin America.

Venezuela’s PVDSA oil company owns 60 percent of the joint venture, Petroboscan, while Chevron has a 40 percent stake.

Ramirez says financing will help boost production in the Boscan field from 107,000 barrels a day to 127,000 barrels.

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves but production has been falling the past decade. The government has relied heavily on the country’s oil income to fund social programs, and reinvested relatively little of it to exploit new fields and replace depleted ones.

Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif.

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