"--IANS/EFE"
Caracas, April 25 - State-owned Venezuelan oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela SA - has said it has made new oil finds in three different areas of the Andean nation.

An effective exploratory drilling plan dating back to late 2013 has resulted in the discovery of 185 million barrels of crude and 1.1 trillion cubic feet of gas, PDVSA said in a statement Thursday.

Venezuela has 297.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, more than any other country. Most of that crude is located in the Orinoco Belt, a territory in eastern Venezuela that holds roughly a quarter of the world's petroleum.

The three latest finds, all onshore, include 100 million barrels in an area straddling the northwestern states of Zulia and Falcon, 75 million barrels in the northeastern state of Anzoategui and 10 million barrels in an area overlapping the western states of Barinas and Apure.

PDVSA produces around 3 million barrels per day - either on its own or in joint ventures and exports 2.5 million bpd, mainly to the US and China.

Venezuela's leftist government in 2007 restored state control over oil projects in the Orinoco region as part of a larger socialist drive, giving PDVSA a minimum 60 percent stake in joint ventures with foreign multinational firms.

Chevron is the only US oil company that accepted the new arrangements, with Conoco-Phillips and Exxon refusing and opting to withdraw from Venezuela and take their claims for compensation to international tribunals.

--IANS/EFE

ab/pr/


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