CARACAS (Commodity Online) : Russia expressed its willingness to extend help to Venezuela for the development of more oil fields, said Russian Prime Minister.

Speaking here after talks with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Russia on P M Vladimir Putin said Our partners have said they are ready to expand our partnership in the energy sector. If an agreement is reached, Russia will pay Venezuela an additional $1 billion bonus for oil field development.

Russia's National Oil Consortium has already paid Venezuela a bonus of $600 million of the initial $1 billion promised by Putin for participation in the development of the Junin-6 deposit, a project designed to last 25 years. The Junin-6 oil field could produce up to 450,000 barrels daily by 2017.

Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said that the $1 billion bonus could be paid for the Ayacucho-2, Ayacucho-3 and Junin-3 oil deposits.

Currently Russian energy giants Gazprom, LUKoil and TNK-BP are developing joint projects and have created the National Oil Consortium (NNK) of which 40% belongs to Russia and 60% to Venezuela.

Alexander Medvedev, the deputy head of Gazprom, said since the Russian energy giants were pleased with the Junin-6 development conditions, another three Venezuelan oil deposits would be transferred to the NNK as well.

Chavez said the NNK will help Venezuela refine oil and produce a petroleum coke in order to overcome the energy crisis in Latin America.

Venezuela is one of the largest oil producing countries in the world, with about 87 billion barrels of proven conventional oil reserves as of 2008. In addition, it has huge non-conventional oil deposits . Most of these deposits are located in the Orinoco oil belt.

Putin is in Venezuela on Friday for talks on a range of issues including military-technical cooperation and joint energy projects.