Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his government will sign agreements this week with foreign oil companies, including from India, that will lead to $40 billion in investments in oil projects.

The Venezuelan President announced the plan with a post on Twitter:

“We will be signing with oil companies from India, Japan, Spain, US investment $40 billion. How about that?”

It was one of the most noteworthy developments Mr. Chavez has announced on Twitter since joining the social networking site less than two weeks ago.

The President 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.

Operating licences

The government granted operating licences in February to Spain's Repsol; Malaysia's Petronas; Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Indian Petroleum Corp (IPCL); 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.

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