PDVSA planning natural gas exports in 2005

Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) expects to have enough natural gas production to begin exporting it in 2005, Fernando Puig, PDVSA gas president, told OPEC News Agency earlier this week.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 8 -- Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) expects to have enough natural gas production to begin exporting it in 2005, Fernando Puig, PDVSA gas president, told OPEC News Agency earlier this week.

During a speech at the Latin American conference on the trans-border trade in Bolivia, Puig also called for closer cooperation among Latin American countries regarding development of the region's natural gas.

The PDVSA executive's comments came during a year in which Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has faced political turmoil, including a failed rebellion in April to end his rule.

"Closer cooperation is needed to intensify initiatives, since opportunities of exchange are subject to the optimum confluence of multiple factors in the legal, commercial, and monetary areas and in the dynamics of the political, economic, and social scenario," Puig said.

He said Latin America's proven gas reserves were estimated at 235 tcf, which is enough to fulfill the region's needs for 25 years.

Latin America could catch pace with Europe's commercialization of gas, he said, adding that Latin America has "an extensive transportation network, via pipelines, with an interconnection potential and diverse options to develop LNG projects."

PDVSA is working to promote the participation of regional organizations, and to secure governmental commitment for integrated natural gas development, Puig said.

"Also, there is the need to generate accords within regulatory frameworks, establish incentives, promote alliances, intensify technological exchanges, publish business opportunities in an effective way, and jointly plan resources" he said.

Integration initiatives include integration with Trinidad and Tobago regarding LNG (OGJ Online, Aug. 29, 2002).

Venezuela is experiencing "a trend to increase non-associated gas production, while opportunities for private sector participation have opened with the legal, tax, and pricing policies framework being adjusted . . .," Puig said.

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