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The two companies signed a cooperation agreement last week in Havana during a visit by Vietnamese Industry Minister Hoang Trung Hai, a VNA report seen on Monday said.

Details of the agreement were not available.

Cuba, which produces around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) of poor quality oil and still relies on imports from Venezuela, has signed up four foreign firms other than Petrovietnam to look for offshore oil in the Gulf of Mexico so far this year.

A Petrovietnam official told Reuters on Monday that the company has also entered into a partnership with Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA to search for oil there to offset declining production at home.

VNA also quoted President Hugo Chavez as saying Venezuela planned to assist Vietnam in building a refinery using the money from the sale of a joint-venture plant in Texas.

PDVSA in August sold Citgo Petroleum Corp. -- its stake in the Houston refinery -- to partner Lyondell Chemical Co. for $2.1 billion.

Vietnam is the third-largest crude oil producer in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Malaysia, with daily output averaging 350,000 barrels.

Source: ThanhnienNews

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