Repsol YPF confirms large gas find off Venezuela

Repsol YPF SA confirmed earlier reports that it has made a giant natural gas discovery off Venezuela.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 11 -- Repsol YPF SA confirmed earlier reports that it has made a giant natural gas discovery off Venezuela. The company, in an exploration partnership with Italy's Eni SPA, said the Perla 1 well could hold 7-8 tcf of gas, but said that further tests would be needed to determine the discovery’s exact size.

The gas was discovered in an exploration block called Rafael Urdaneta, which the Spanish form began developing in 2006 along with Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). Repsol YPF and Eni would have stakes of 32.5% each in future production, while PDVSA would get 35%.

Earlier, Spanish daily El Pais newspaper quoted Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez as saying that 1.5-2 tcf of the 7-8 tcf could be recoverable—a figure that Repsol YPF could not confirm.

In any case, Chavez saw the find as boosting Venezuela into the top tier of world gas producers, saying, “At the rate the certified scientific discoveries are going, Venezuela's gas reserves will place it among the top five in the world.”

Chavez was in Spain as part of a state tour of European and Asian countries, which has included Iran, Turkmenistan, and Russia, where several agreements were signed for the developments of Venezuela’s Orinoco belt.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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