* Venezuela oil min says Chinese investments now $40 bln
* Sinopec, CNOOC invest in Orinoco crude and offshore gas
* Minister says oil exports to China now 362,000 bpd (Recasts with Junin 8 investment, adds details)
CARACAS, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Chinese companies are increasing investments in Venezuela to help develop 400,000 barrels per day of extra heavy crude production, a new refinery and the long-stalled Mariscal Sucre natural gas field.
China’s Sinopec (0386.HK) will help state oil company PDVSA develop the Junin 1 and Junin 8 heavy oil blocks, which each have a capacity of 200,000 bpd, Venezuela’s oil minister Rafael Ramirez said on Thursday.
Sinopec will also participate in the construction of the 200,000 bpd Cabruta refinery, he said.
Another Chinese firm, CNOOC (0883.HK), will take part in the Mariscal Sucre offshore gas project. Ramirez said planned Chinese investments in Venezuelan oil and gas now reached $40 billion.
Venezuela currently exports 362,000 bpd of oil to China, the minister said in a statement issued from a gas producers meeting in Doha.
State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is close to receiving the final permits needed to develop the 400,000 bpd Junin 4 block in partnership with PDVSA. (Reporting by Eyanir Chinea; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Marguerita Choy)