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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 05:58 GMT 06:58 UK
Venezuelan oil firm cuts SEC ties
Oil refinery in Venezuela
Venezuela has been cultivating energy ties with Cuba and China
Venezuela's state oil firm has said it will no longer disclose information to US financial regulators after paying off debts in the US.

PDVSA said it was no longer obliged to be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after buying up $83m in US-traded bonds.

There is growing tension between the two countries over the policies of Venezuela's leader Hugo Chavez.

The US is reliant on Venezuela for 15% of its oil imports.

Last disclosure

Relations between the two nations have deteriorated amid regular claims by President Chavez that the US is interfering in Venezuelan affairs, a claim Washington strongly denies.

PDVSA had been obliged to disclose financial information to the SEC because it held bonds which were traded on US markets.

With this no longer the case, the company said it would make its last disclosure to the watchdog in May, outlining its 2004 performance.

Currently, details of profits made by PDVSA through exports, refining and production are publicly available in the US.

Venezuela has sought to reduce its dependence on the US for oil exports, signing deals with other Latin American and Caribbean nations such as Jamaica and Cuba.

President Chavez has also tried to cultivate closer energy ties with Iran, China and India.

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