Venezuela says signs new $16 billion China oil deal

CARACAS Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:37pm EDT

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CARACAS (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday Venezuela signed a $16 billion investment deal with China over three years to raise oil output by several hundred thousand barrels per day in the OPEC member's Orinoco belt.

Chavez gave few details of the deal he said was signed on Tuesday. But he appeared to be talking about a new investment, separate from a similar amount China has promised Venezuela in return for future shipments of fuel oil.

"We have struck an agreement with China for the Orinoco belt over the next three years for $16 billion more," Chavez said on state television. He said that between a recently signed Russian project and the Chinese deal, output would rise by 900,000 bpd.

Last week, Venezuela and Russia formed a joint venture to develop the Junin 6 field with a $20 billion investment. Venezuela says the project will produce up to 450,000 bpd

(Reporting by Eyanir Chinea and Patricia Rondon; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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