Italian energy company Eni said it would contribute as much as $1.5 billion to a state energy company to develop the Junin 5 block off the coast of Venezuela.
Eni Chief Executive Officer Paul Scaroni met in Caracas with Venezuela's Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez, also president of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA to discuss projects in the Orinoco belt.
Eni signed deal in Venezuelan to exploit the Junin 5 oil block in the Orinoco oil belt in the Caribbean Sea last year.
Eni had said it hopes to produce around 75,000 barrels of oil per day from the site during early production phases set for 2013. Long-term production, the company said, could reach 240,000 bpd in 2018.
Eni in a statement Friday said the "primary topic of discussion" was developing Junin 5. The company said the reserve holds 35 billion barrels of certified oil in place.
Eni in its statement said it agreed to provide up to $1.5 billion to help PDVSA develop its share of the production phase of Junin 5.