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CERAWEEK-Eni CEO says early production of Venezuela offshore gas project to start end 2014

HOUSTON, March 4 (Reuters) - Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol will start early production of their offshore natural gas project in the Gulf of Venezuela with PDVSA at the end of this year, Eni's CEO said on Tuesday.

Paolo Scaroni said Eni and Venezuela's state-run PDVSA will reach 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production at the Orinoco belt in 2016 after starting early production last year.

Turning to Africa, he said at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference that Eni is producing 220,000-230,000 bpd of crude in Libya after reaching 80 percent capacity. He added that the situation in Nigeria is not improving. The company's latest quarterly results were hit by instability in Africa.