France's Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), China National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL] and Petroleos de Venezuela [PDVSA.UL] are in advanced talks about a deal to produce and refine Venezuelan oil to send to China, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Senior officials from all three groups plan to meet in Caracas next month to discuss a possible multi-billion-dollar accord, the paper said on Wednesday, citing people close to the talks.
The 20-year venture could see 200,000 barrels of oil a day shipped to China possibly starting in 2013. Volumes could rise subsequently, the WSJ added.
As part of the plan, China National and Total would bid for one of the Carabobo oil blocks in the Orinoco basin that Venezuela is offering to foreign investors, the report said.
Total would build a plant to process the heavy Venezuelan crude oil in Venezuela before it is shipped to China to be converted into gasoline and diesel.
The paper said a Total spokeswoman said the group was in discussions with China National on a variety of projects without confirming the Venezuela plans.
Total was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters on Wednesday.
(Reporting by James Regan and Benjamin Mallet)