PDVSA halts plan to sell Jose terminal

Venezuela�s state oil company has decided against selling its Caribbean crude oil terminal at Jose to a consortium headed by Enbridge Inc., Calgary, for $385 million (US). Petroleos de Venezuela SA said another operating contract could be granted to Enbridge and partners, however, following the recent cancellation of their previous contract.


CALGARY�Venezuela�s state oil company has decided against selling its Caribbean crude oil terminal at Jose to a consortium headed by Enbridge Inc., Calgary, for $385 million (US).

Enbridge and partners Williams and Northville Industries Corp. said in late June that Petroleos de Venezuela SA had unexpectedly canceled their contract to operate the Jose terminal and that they feared the cancellation would jeopardize their chances to acquire the terminal (OGJ Online, June 28, 2000). PDVSA has now said the planned sale of the Jose terminal will not take place. It said another operating contract could be granted to Enbridge and partners, however.

PDVSA said the companies failed to obtain government licenses needed to buy the port, and the government believes the port is a strategic asset. Enbridge said it was not aware of any licensing problems, and a legal agreement for the sale was signed in 1999. The Calgary company says the group has a valid and binding agreement for purchase and operation of the terminal.

More than 800,000 b/d of crude can be processed at the terminal adjacent to the Jose Industrial Complex. Enbridge and Williams each have a 45% interest in an operating contract, and Northville has 10%.

The government of President Hugo Ch�z took office in Venezuela in February 1999 and says the terminal is a strategic asset to the state.

Enbridge said confidential talks are continuing between the parties.

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