Putin teams up with Chavez in $2.6bn oil deal

RUSSIA has agreed to team up with Hugo Chavez to produce oil in the lucrative Venezuelan oil fields.

Russia’s state-owned venture Rosneft has signed a memo of understanding with Petróleos de Venezuela to explore blocks in the Orinoco Belt that are thought to contain up to 40bn barrels of oil.

Rosneft has paid a $440m entry bonus, with a further $660m due once a deal is done.

The firm has also offered a $1.5bn loan facility to the Venezuelan group.