(Adds details from signing ceremony)
CARACAS, June 4 (Reuters) - Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) signed a joint venture agreement with Italy’s Eni SpA and Spain’s Repsol SA on Wednesday to develop a natural gas field that holds some 15 trillion cubic feet of reserves.
Eni and Repsol will provide $1 billion in financing for the offshore Perla project, Repsol said in a statement, adding the loan will be backed by sales of a form of very light crude oil known as condensate.
Perla is seen increasing Venezuela’s stagnant gas production and reducing the OPEC nation’s reliance on other fuels that have been used to generate electricity since a 2010 power crisis.
PDVSA had previously said the project would extract its first gas by the end of 2013.
A top ENI official has estimated the first output by the end of 2014.
Final contracts still have to be signed. The agreements are subject to approval by local authorities. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak in Milan, Eyanir Chinea in Caracas; Editing by Lisa Jucca, Brian Ellsworth and Marguerita Choy)