Venezuelan officials are reportedly negotiating with small domestic contractors over a deal that would allow them to operate the oilfields of state-owned PDVSA in return for a share of the proceeds.
Reuters news agency reported the move, noting that discussions on the issue have been going on for several months.
It is still unclear whether any companies have actually signed the proposed contracts, the agency said, quoting sources.
Reuters reported that a relatively small number of companies have shown interest, noting that opening this fields to the private sector would be mired with various obstacles.
It explained these obstacles as concerns over entering a deal with the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA ) after years of late payments, as well as fears of US sanctions.
Among those purportedly ready to explore the possibilities of the tabled offer is S&B Terra Marine Services, based near Lake Maracaibo in western Venezuela, and Arco Services, based in the state of Monagas, according to three insiders cited by Reuters.