CARACAS (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 23, 2011
Venezuelan state energy giant Petroleos de Venezuela signed a supply contract with Italy's Eni SpA (E) and Spain's Repsol YPF SA (REP) that will allow for development of the South American country's offshore Perla gas fields.
The project, which is expected to begin production toward the end of next year, is slated to help Venezuela overcome power shortages that have plagued it for at least the last two years and have resulted in having to import gas from Colombia to meet the deficit.
Around 300 million cubic feet of gas is expected to be produced by 2013, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said at a signing ceremony with heads of Eni and Repsol.
The European companies currently have split ownership of Perla, which is located in the Cardon IV bloc and is considered Latin America's largest natural-gas find. However, PdVSA, as the company is known, has a 35 percent back-in right to be exercised in the development phase.
Perla is expected to receive around $4.5 billion in investment for the initial development stage, with $3 billion coming from Eni and $1.5 billion from Repsol.
Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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