VENEZUELA - Ofrecerán 3 bloques en la cuanca del Orinoco Imprimir
Petróleo en Latinoamerica - Venezuela
Lunes, 27 de Octubre de 2008 09:01
Venezuela to offer up three Orinoco blocks


Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 24 -- Venezuela plans to announce a licensing round for several oil blocks in the country's Orinoco region this coming week, according to oil minister Rafael Ramirez.

"This coming week we will open up the licensing round with the interested companies," said Ramirez, referring to three oil blocks in Carabobo field, which lies in Orinoco basin.

In the blocks to be auctioned, Blocks 2, 3, and 4, surveyors have certified 20.1 billion bbl of proven crude oil reserves and more than 140 billion cu m of natural gas reserves, according to a government statement.

The minister said a number of oil companies have shown interest in the development, but he would not say which ones.

In 2007, the Venezuelan government took controlling stakes in all four heavy-crude upgraders as part of a nationalization campaign. It then offered foreign partners minority stakes in the projects.

Total SA, StatoilHydro, BP PLC, and Chevron Corp. have accepted the terms offered, but two other firms, namely ExxonMobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, have decided to abandon their projects.