Venezuela sets tender date for first gas licenses

Venezuela plans to open a public tender later this year for private national and foreign investment to develop 11 areas rich in nonassociated natural gas reserves. The proposed tender, through which licenses will be granted to private companies to explore for and produce natural gas, forms part of the government's broad energy policy, aimed at accelerating the development of the nation's natural gas sector.


CARACAS�Venezuelan Energy and Mines Minister Al�odr�ez Araque has unveiled plans to open a public tender later this year for private national and foreign investment to develop 11 areas rich in nonassociated natural gas reserves. The proposed tender, through which licenses will be granted to private companies to explore for and produce natural gas, forms part of the government's broad energy policy, aimed at accelerating the development of the nation's natural gas sector (OGJ, Apr. 24, 2000, p. 21).

Rodr�ez told reporters in Caracas that Venezuela would establish the terms and conditions of the tender would in July, at which time they will be available for national and foreign investors interested in securing licenses to develop the fields. In July or August, a registry of investors that qualify for the tender will be opened, says Rodr�ez, after which the sale of information packages will begin.

Interested investors will be able to prepare their offers for the bidding round during August through November. The granting of licenses is expected to take place during the first 15 days of December, said the minister.

The 11 areas, described more fully in a previous story (OGJ Online, May 5, 2000), are:

Norte de Ambrosio�one area in western Venezuela's Zulia state covering 527 sq km and containing postulated reserves of 2-6 tcf.

Yucal Placer field�two areas in central Venezuela's Guarico state covering 900 sq km, with proven reserves of 2 tcf and possibly as much as 3 tcf.

Guarico, Aragua, and Cojedes states�seven areas blocks covering 1,200 sq km, each with postulated reserves of 2-8 tcf.

Barrancas�one 1,970 sq km area in the western plains of Venezuela straddling Barinas, Portuguesa and Trujillo states, with postulated reserves of 2-6 tcf.

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