Petrobras, PDVSA to build heavy-oil upgrader

Peter Howard Wertheim
OGJ correspondent

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 12 -- Brazil's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela SA plan to jointly build a heavy-oil upgrading plant in Venezuela that would cost about $1 billion, Petrobras announced.

The plant would convert heavy oil from Venezuela's Orinoco belt into crude that can be processed at a refinery to be built as another joint project in northeastern Brazil, said Petrobras International Director Nestor Cervero.

The upgrader would treat production from a jointly operated field that is to start up at a rate of as much as 200,000 b/d in 2009, Cervero said.

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