PDVSA acquires stake in gas venture from ConocoPhillips

Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA said it has acquired from ConocoPhillips a stake in the Deltana Platform—a joint natural gas project with Chevron Corp.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 -- Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA said it has acquired from ConocoPhillips a stake in the Deltana Platform—a joint natural gas project with Chevron Corp.

PDVSA said the acquisition will result in the creation of a new joint venture to exploit the Deltana Platform, with the Venezuelan company having a 61% stake and Chevron 39%. The Deltana Platform is in the Atlantic Ocean between the mouth of the Orinoco River and Trinidad and Tobago.

PDVSA said output will reach 750 MMcfd of gas, which will be transported via a 300-km pipeline to the Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Industrial Complex, now under construction in Venezuela’s Sucre state.

Venezuela produces 6.3 bcfd of gas, but is working on projects to double that output by 2012; currently, the Andean nation has South America’s largest proven reserves of gas at more than 170 tcf.

ConocoPhillips and the Venezuelan government are locked in a dispute over compensation for oil operations in the heavy-crude Orinoco belt of eastern Venezuela.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez's administration nationalized four heavy oil projects in 2007, seizing control of ConocoPhillips’s operations after the companies failed to agree on terms for a minority stake.

ConocoPhillips later initiated international arbitration against Venezuela to secure compensation for its oil investments and operations.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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