Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) announced that Venezuela and Iran have agreed to explore setting up a joint shipbuilding operation. The preliminary agreement looks towards jointly building oil tankers
, liquid natural gas tankers and other vessels. It would also train Venezuelans in shipbuilding technology.
The deal was signed in Caracas between PDVSA and Sadra Iran Marine Industrial Company. Ties between the two oil-producing countries have become closer as Venezuelan president
Hugo Chávez has sought to build international alliances to counter US economic and political dominance.
The moves come as the Bush administration has clashed with Iran over
its nuclear program.
The two governments have signed many other agreements, including plans for a cement company, an auto parts plant and a project to build 10,000 homes in Venezuela. The two have also agreed to jointly survey and certify heavy crude deposits in Venezuela’s Orinoco river belt. Both have consistently backed efforts to bolster oil prices by controlling production volumes.