In a few years Venezuela will reach the level of exporting up to three million barrels a day […] we are going to have refineries there, just like we do in the United States, Chavez said.

Last year we topped 380,000 barrels a day and we have signed a deal to soon reach the one million mark.

Chavez has frequently threatened to reduce the supply of oil to the US, but commentators say it provides main revenue for Venezuela’s government.

Venezuela, which has seen oil prices fall sharply since September 2008, intends to double its natural gas production by 2013, with an eye to exports markets.