Venezuela has agreed to invest around $780 million in phase 12 of Iran's South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, an Iranian energy official says, Press TV reported.
"During the recent visit of a Venezuelan delegation to Iran, the two sides have signed a 780-million-dollar agreement for investing in phase 12 of the South Pars gas field," Hamad Akbari, the project manager of phase 12 said on Sunday.
Akbari told SHANA news agency that the agreement "will be finalized within 3 months."
He noted that according to the deal, Venezuela's state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) will finance 10 percent of the 7.8-billion-dollar project.
The official noted that Angola's Sonangol Group has also been awarded a 20 percent stake in phase 12 project in the past.
"Around 2.3 billion dollars have been invested in the project and we predict that investment is to reach 2.8 billion dollars by the end of the year," Akbari said.
Last week, Iran and Venezuela signed 11 memorandums of understanding (MoU) during Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran.
The agreements will reportedly promote cooperation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, trade and public housing.
Iran and Venezuela also agreed to form a joint oil shipping company and jointly construct petrochemical plants.
The two fellow members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have in recent years signed several agreements for joint participation and investments in oil and gas projects.
Iran is utilizing the South Pars gas field jointly with Qatar. The Iranian share of the field is about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas -- or about eight percent of the total world reserves -- and more than 18 billion barrels of liquefied natural gas resources.
Iran has defined over 20 phases of development for the South Pars gas field, the ninth and tenth of which were inaugurated by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in March, 2009.