* Russian company increasing investment in Venezuela
* CEO Sechin visited the South American nation in January
CARACAS Feb 13 Venezuela will receive a $1.1
billion bonus payment from Russian oil company Rosneft
for a joint venture crude oil project in Venezuela, Energy
Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday.
Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has partnered with
Rosneft to develop projects in the Orinoco extra-heavy crude
belt. Last month, Rosneft's powerful chief executive, Igor
Sechin, visited Caracas to discuss more investments in
Venezuela, an OPEC member.
Ramirez told reporters Rosneft would pay PDVSA a $1.1
billion bonus for its involvement in the Petrovictoria project,
and would separately provide financing of $1.5 billion.
"This is a joint venture that has an important amount of
reserves, enough to produce 400,000 barrels per day," he said.
Rosneft is buying a 17 percent stake in Venezuela's
Petromonagas heavy oil upgrader from TNK-BP and is
participating in another Orinoco joint venture with PDVSA called
Petromiranda is one of the most advanced in the area, where
work has often been delayed by financial, logistical and
technical problems. Early production began there last year, and
output is seen eventually rising to 45,000 barrels-per-day.