Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft has signed a deal with Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA corresponding to a $440 million partial payment for access to a heavy-oil project in the South American country.

"We've signed ... an agreement for the collection of Rosneft's first payment of $440 million for access to PetroVictoria's area on Sept. 1," Venezuela's vice president responsible for the economy, Rafael Ramirez, said at a press conference.

All foreign companies interested in working in Venezuela's energy sector must first pay the government a so-called "bono de acceso" for those rights.

PetroVictoria, a joint venture in which PDVSA has a 60 percent stake and Rosneft has the remaining 40 percent, owns the Carabobo-2 project in eastern Venezuela's Orinoco Belt.

Ramirez, who is also Venezuela's oil minister and president of PDVSA, said the two companies also signed agreements to create joint ventures for developing other projects in the Orinoco Belt and for specialized oil services.

Venezuela holds nearly 300 billion barrels of proved oil reserves, or around 25 percent of the global total, international certification processes have shown.

The South American country produces approximately 3 million barrels of oil per day and exports roughly 2.5 million bpd, mainly to the United States and China, according to official figures. EFE