Harvest sees growth in Venezuelan venture

Alan Petzet
Chief Editor-Exploration

HOUSTON, Jan. 21 -- The Petrodelta SA joint venture could be producing more than 50,000 b/d of oil by 2014 based on proved reserves only from Venezuelan fields north of the Orinoco heavy oil belt’s eastern reaches.

Petrodelta’s goal is to average 23,500 b/d of oil in the first calendar quarter of 2010 and 30,000 b/d for the full year, compared with 21,369 b/d in 2009, said 32% interest owner Harvest Natural Resources Inc., Houston. Petrodelta produced 7.8 million bbl of oil and sold 4.4 bcf of gas in 2009.

The 2010 budget of $205 million is self funding at a West Texas Intermediate crude price of $70/bbl.

An October 2009 increase in joint venture reserves was driven mainly by drilling two appraisal wells in largely undeveloped El Salto field, whose original oil in place was revised upward 48% to 5.4 billion bbl.

Petrodelta reserves net to Harvest as of Aug. 31, 2009, climbed 59% to 211.1 million bbl of oil equivalent. Proved, probable, and possible net reserves were up 10%, 35%, and 104%, respectively.

Petrodelta started production from El Salto with the ELS-31 well, completed for 3,000 b/d, which has produced 364,000 bbl of oil the past 6 months. Facilities to be built at El Salto will permit early production rates of more than 10,000 b/d by 2011.

Petrodelta will run two rigs in 2010, and much of the budget is dedicated to infrastructure costs to support further development of Temblador and El Salto fields. It will also begin appraisal drilling at Isleno field, southeast of Temblador. Temblador averages 8,500 b/d.

Besides Harvest, Petrodelta interests are Corp. Venezolana del Petroleo SA 60%, and Oil & Gas Technology Consultants (Netherlands) Cooperatie UA, a controlled affiliate of Venezolana de Inversiones y Construcciones Clerico CA (Vinccler) 8%.

Contact Alan Petzet at alanp@ogjonline.com.

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