Venezuela’s oil ministry reported on the Sechin-Maduro meeting focusing on bilateral energy cooperation. During the meeting, several agreements were signed between Rosneft and the Venezuelan Oil Department in Caracas. In October, Sechin had stated that preparations had reached the final stages for the final agreements with Venezuela for two gas extraction projects. Rosneft had previously announced in August that it would work with Venezuela to expand energy cooperation. Local Caracas-based media subsequently reported that the Russian company and Petroleos de Venezuela Oil and Gas Company (PDVSA) discussed plans to boost oil production through their joint activities in the so-called "Orinoco Belt", an area situated in central Venezuela. In October 2016, PDVSA had already agreed with Rosneft to allocate USD 20 billion to the implementation of the oil projects in the Orinoco area. Sechin is currently engaged on a new tour of South America, which included a stop in Cuba to see President Raul Castro, with whom he discussed the supply of oil and oil products as well as joint projects.