A unit of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA and U.S. oil major Chevron have requested a 15-year extension for two of their joint ventures from the country's oil ministry, the deputy minister Erick Perez said Dec. 13.

PDVSA and Chevron have expanded operations since late last year under a special U.S. license, allowing Venezuela to resume crude exports to what was its largest market, the U.S. But more investment is needed to reach production levels seen before oil sanctions were first imposed in 2019.

The largest of the two joint projects, Petroboscan, which is currently producing some 65,000 bbl/d of heavy crude, will require $1.28 billion for investment and $3.35 billion for operational expenses in the 15-year period, Perez added during a conference.

The second project, Petroindependiente, will need $10.7 million for investment and some $205 million for expenses.

Venezuela's National Assembly, dominated by the government's party after an election that did not have international observation, is expected to discuss the request before giving the go-ahead.

Perez also said Venezuela is producing below its 1.9 MMbbl/d OPEC quota, so it expects to remain exempted from any OPEC+ output cuts planned.

"Because of the sanctions, our output remains below the quota. We, of course, have a margin and want to continue ramping up (production)," Perez told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

Venezuela confirmed the government is working towards reviving the idle offshore gas project Plataforma Deltana near waters reclaimed by Guyana, but Perez did not provide details.