By Marianna Parraga and Brian Ellsworth

HOUSTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - Malaysian oil company Petronas is exiting one of the biggest petroleum projects in Venezuela's Orinoco belt after tensions with state-run PDVSA over contract terms, three sources close to the venture told Reuters.

The flagship project, called Petrocarabobo, has planned investments of about $20 billion over 25 years and calls for building a 200,000 barrel per day upgrader to convert heavy crude into light crude oil.

State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) has 60 percent of the project. Petronas belongs to a consortium that holds 40 percent of the project. Its other partners are Spain's Repsol, India's ONGC <ONGC.NS> and two small Indian firms. Petronas holds an 11 percent stake.

"We exited already," said a top executive from Petronas, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. He added that the company will not run any other projects in the OPEC-member country.

(Reporting By Marianna Parraga in Houston and Brian Ellsworth in Caracas; Editing by Terry Wade)

 

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