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Venezuela seeks to double oil exports to India

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

By and Sudarshan Varadhan

(Reuters) - wants to double its sales to and is open to barter payment arrangements with the world's third biggest crude consumer, Venezuelan said on Monday.

Caracas, which buys medicines and other products from India, is looking for alternative payment methods after the imposed stringent sanctions on Venezuela's firm in a bid to push out

"The relationships with will continue, the trade will continue," Quevedo said, adding that wanted to expand trade in services and technology with

The minister, who said was open to barter arrangements but did not give details, told reporters during a conference that aimed to double to from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) now.

"India also wants to increase the intake," Quevedo said after a meeting with Indian refiners.

and Nayara Energy, part owned by Russia's Rosneft, both buy Venezuelan oil.

Barter deals could help India balance its trade with Venezuela. In fiscal 2017/18, India's imports from Venezuela were worth $5.87 billion while its exports were $79.3 million, Indian trade ministry data showed.

The said Venezuela's was now 1.57 million bpd, about half its level at the start of the century.

Quevedo, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said it was important to listen to as OPEC and other producers sought to balance supply and demand in the

The said U.S. sanctions meant Venezuela had lost $20 billion in revenues. He did not give a timeframe.

Venezuela's Juan Guaido, who has been recognised by the and some of its allies, is setting up with U.S. help to take income accrued by PDVSA's U.S. refining subsidiary Citgo Petroleum Corp.

In response, is taking steps to remove at least two American executives from Citgo's board of directors, sources familiar with the matter told

"U.S. exercises kidnapping of resources around the world ... It is financial persecution. Now they want to steal Citgo Petroleum from Venezuela," Quevedo said, confirming Venezuela's efforts to remove the two U.S. executives from the board.

Despite U.S. sanctions, Quevedo said there was no shortage of gasoline in Venezuela and said the country's relations with international firms continued.

"We have strategic association with several companies around the world," he said, adding that one of those firms was U.S. company

(Reporting by and Sudarshan in NEW DELHI; Editing by and Edmund Blair)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 20:54 IST