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On April 17, China and Venezuela inked a $20 billion financing deal that would provide much-needed cash (half of it in yuan) to the South American nation as China seeks to increase its oil supplies there. The highlight of the deal is a $16 billion agreement between the China National Petroleum Corp. and Venezuela's national oil company to explore and pump new oil reserves in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt. Venezuela currently sends 460,000 bbl. of crude oil to China every day; the Orinoco deal is expected to nearly double that number. New refining capabilities and a booming economy have boosted China's oil demands, making it the world's third biggest oil importer, behind the U.S. and Japan.

[The following text appears within a diagram. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual diagram.]

China's oil suppliers (in thousands of bbl. per day)

SAUDI ARABIA 740

IRAN 544

VENEZUELA 460

ANGOLA 451

RUSSIA 299

OMAN 275

SUDAN 217

OTHERS 356

SOURCE: FACTS GLOBAL ENERGY

* | What They're Archiving in Washington: If you thought it was impossible for social networking to get any nerdier, you were wrong. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone announced on April 14 that the microblogging site had agreed to donate its entire archive of public tweets to the Library of Congress for preservation and research. At 55 million tweets a day (only a small percentage of which are private), that's a lot of cataloging for the world's largest library.

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