Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji has traveled to Caracas to visit Venezuela's oil facilities and sign energy contracts, Bloomberg reported, citing informed sources.
According to these sources, Oji and more than 12 members of his entourage arrived in Caracas on Saturday. The Iranian oil minister and the head of the Venezuelan National Oil Company, Asdrobal Chavez, visited the Paraguana refinery complex in the west of the country. The two countries are expected to sign several energy contracts on Monday.
Iran and Venezuela are both under US sanctions and the United States does not import oil from either country. Meetings between Venezuelan President Nicolas Madaro and senior US officials in March sparked speculation that the sanctions would be lifted. In the absence of Russian oil, Venezuelan oil will be released to the market.
Iran and Venezuela have stepped up their cooperation under US sanctions. Caracas imports Iranian gas condensate to dilute its crude oil. Iran also sends refining products, engineering services and spare parts to Venezuela to help the country's oil industry.