Venezuela sent an average of 385,000 tons of fuel oil each month to China in the first half of 2009.
China and Venezuela have signed a $16-billion investment deal to raise oil output in the South American country, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday.
Chavez said the investment by China, spread over three years, would go toward developing heavy oil resources in the Orinoco River belt.
The move comes shortly after Venezuela signed a similar agreement with Russia estimated at $20 billion.
The two deals will boost oil production in Venezuela by about 900,000 barrels per day, said Chavez.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's largest oil and gas producer, is now participating in the development of heavy oil resources in the Orinoco belt.
The company yesterday declined to comment on the deal.
One source with the company had earlier told China Daily that it would accelerate the development of oil and gas assets overseas, including the Middle East, Africa and South America.
CNPC President Jiang Jiemin said in May that the company would strengthen cooperation with national oil companies in resources-rich countries such as Kazakhstan, Venezuela and Qatar.
The company expects to see sizable and sustained growth in its overseas operations in the next eight to 10 years, he had said.