THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell, PdVSA Study Joint Oil And Natural Gas Projects: “Shell plans to form a joint company with PdVSA to explore for oil at the Urdaneta North field in Lake Maracaibo, one of Venezuela's largest oil-producing regions.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 17 Feb 05
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
CARACAS -- Royal Dutch/ Shell Group (RD SC) and Petroleos de Venezuela (PVZ.YY) are looking at new projects to produce oil in Lake Maracaibo, heavy oil in the Orinoco tar belt, and natural gas off the eastern coast of the country, said PdVSA in a statement Wednesday.
"We hope to expand our activities in the country, including the realization of Mariscal Sucre, and other projects related with oil and natural gas," said Linda Cook, Shell's executive director of gas and power, in the statement.
Cook recently came to Venezuela to meet with Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's oil minister and the president of PdVSA, said the statement.
In 2003, Venezuela agreed to develop the $2.7 billion Mariscal Sucre natural gas project with Shell and Japan's Mitsubishi, but the partners failed to reach a definitive development plan. This week PdVSA invited Brazil's Petrobras (PBR) to join the project.
Shell plans to form a joint company with PdVSA to explore for oil at the Urdaneta North field in Lake Maracaibo, one of Venezuela's largest oil-producing regions. Shell currently operates the Urdaneta West field in the lake.
Shell is also considering forming a "mixed company" to produce heavy oil in the Orinoco region, said the statement.
Venezuela currently has four heavy crude projects in the Orinoco that produced an average of 538,000 barrels a day in 2004, according to PdVSA. The four heavy crude projects in the area, Petrozuata, Sincor, Hamaca and Cerro Negro, produce a heavy tar oil that is refined into synthetic oil at upgrading facilities.
France's Total (TOT) and Norway's Statoil (STO) are already in talks with PdVSA to build a second project in the Orinoco. The two companies currently operate Sincor, along with PdVSA.
Venezuela is the world's fifth largest exporter of crude oil and a major supplier to the U.S. The Andean nation plays a key role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
-By Peter Millard, Dow Jones Newswires; 58-212-564-1339; firstname.lastname@example.org