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PDVSA, Repsol discuss $1.2 bln funding for Venezuela venture

By Deisy Buitrago

CARACAS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - State oil company PDVSA and Spain's Repsol are discussing a $1.2 billion financing deal for a joint venture in Venezuela, a top government official said on Wednesday.

The announcement was made by Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez during a visit to Caracas by Repsol boss Antonio Brufau. The funds would go to the Petroquiriquire joint venture, which runs mature oil fields in the east and west of the South American OPEC member country.

Ramirez said the financing was aimed at increasing the joint venture's output by 75,000 barrels per day (bpd), from a total of about 40,000 bpd currently produced at its three fields.

If signed, the new deal would add to about $10 billion in loans that PDVSA has agreed this year, including with Chevron and Schlumberger of the United States and China's CNPC, as it seeks to boost stagnant national oil output of some 3 million bpd.

Repsol is working with PDVSA in an offshore natural gas project and is a key part of a consortium seeking to tap Venezuela's vast Orinoco extra heavy crude belt.

Separately, the minister said he would also be discussing financing with visiting executives from Italy's ENI in November for their joint ventures.