Seattle Post-Intelligencer: BP, Shell to form joint ventures with co.: BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have agreed to form joint ventures with Venezuela's state oil company, replacing old contracts under which they pumped crude independently, Venezuela's oil minister said Thursday.: December 1, 2005
CARACAS, Venezuela -- BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have agreed to form joint ventures with Venezuela's state oil company, replacing old contracts under which they pumped crude independently, Venezuela's oil minister said Thursday.
BP and Royal Dutch Shell are among 15 companies that have signed transitional agreements to move toward the joint companies, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said.
The government is requiring companies that operate 32 oil fields in the South American country to convert their agreements into joint ventures with Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA.
Companies running 26 of those oil fields have now agreed to form the joint companies, said Ramirez, who is also president of PDVSA.
The state company will have a majority stake in each joint venture, holding as much as 80 percent ownership, officials have said.
Ramirez previously had accused some private oil companies of cutting output in a bid to gain more favorable terms in negotiations with the government.
PDVSA officials have said output at the privately run fields has been about 550,000 barrels a day - a major piece of Venezuela's declared production of more than 3 million barrels a day.
Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and a major supplier of fuel to the United States.
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