PDVSA charters Neptune Discoverer drillship

Venezuela state firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) signed a 4-year contract with Neptune Marine, Nicosia, to charter the Neptune Discoverer drillship.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 30 -- Venezuela state firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) signed a 4-year contract with Neptune Marine, Nicosia, to charter the Neptune Discoverer drillship.

The vessel will drill natural gas wells as part of the development of the Mariscal Sucre gas project under a contract lasting 1,460 days and valued at some $700 million.

Neptune Marine also will participate in a social welfare program together with PDVSA in Venezuela for a total of 8% of the day rate in the contract.

The drillship will deploy to Venezuela upon completion of its drilling commitment for Con Son in Vietnam, estimated at the end of November. The drillship is expected to reach Venezuelan waters toward the end of February 2008.

In September Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he wanted his country—which became a gas importer this month with the opening of a pipeline from Colombia—to increase gas production by 3 bcfd to 11 bcfd by 2011.

At the time, Chavez said his government is "launching the socialist gas revolution," claiming that Venezuela possesses "80% of South America's gas reserves" and "30% of the gas reserves in the Americas (OGJ Online, Sept. 19, 2007)."

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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