Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his government will sign agreements this week with foreign oil companies that will lead to $40 billion in investments in oil projects.
Chavez announced the plan Sunday with a post on Twitter: "We will be signing with oil companies from India, Japan, Spain, U.S. investment $40 billion. How about that?"
It was one of the most noteworthy developments Chavez has announced on Twitter since joining the social networking site less than two weeks ago.
He said the agreements would be signed on Wednesday. The companies involved recently won bidding to exploit the areas Carabobo 1 and 3 in the crude-rich Orinoco River basin in eastern Venezuela.
Outlines of the deal were known earlier. The government granted operating licenses in February to Spain's Repsol; Malaysia's Petronas; Indian companies Oil and Natural Gas Corp., Oil India Ltd. and Indian Petroleum Corp.; U.S.-based Chevron Corp.; Venezuelan company Suelopetrol, and Japan's Mitsubishi, Inpex Corp. and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. JOGMEC.
The companies will be involved in joint companies controlled by the state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA.