The presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Argentina met Friday in the southern Bolivian town of Tarija.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales, and Argentina's Nestor Kirchner signed agreements to share the costs of energy production. They agreed to fund the construction of a gas-separation plant near Bolivia's border with Argentina.

Mr. Chavez has been campaigning for more integration of the energy industry in South America. Bolivia is his last stop on a four-nation tour meant to promote South American energy production.

The four nations on Chavez's tour include Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia. He announced intentions to buy as much as one-billion-dollars worth of Argentine bonds and guaranteed Uruguay access to Venezuelan oil for decades.

Mr. Chavez has been lobbying to join the South American trade block Mercosur, which is comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Some information for this report provided by AP.