By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 19 -- Harvest Vinccler CA (HVCA), the Venezuelan arm of Harvest Natural Resources Inc., Houston, said it would suspend drilling activities on its 158,000-acre South Monagas Unit, where it operates Uracoa, Tucupita, and Bombal oil fields in eastern Venezuela's Delta Amacuro state.
The company said delays in receiving permits were preventing it from drilling seven wells required to maintain and increase oil and gas production in the unit. HVCA currently is producing 29,000 b/d of oil and 80 MMcfd of gas. It last year had two rigs drilling in Uracoa field that it expected to continue drilling into 2005 (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2004).
The company also completed last fall a technical evaluation and field development plan for Temblador, El Salto, and Isleno oil fields near South Monagas and began discussions for possible acquisition of the rights to develop them (OGJ Online, Aug. 5, 2004).
Although HVCA submitted requests to Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) for the permits from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, a PDVSA affiliate is seeking to reduce HVCA's 2005 drilling program budget below the amount previously approved and to restrict production below planned levels.
HVCA said it is attempting to meet with officials of the Venezuelan government, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and PDVSA to resolve the impasse and obtain the approvals.