Venezuela NatGas Discovery in Plataforma Deltana Boosts Chevron's LNG Plan

Chevron Corporation's Venezuela affiliate announced a significant natural gas discovery at the offshore Macuira 1X exploration well, advancing the companys plans to evaluate Venezuelas first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The Macuira 1X well encountered six gas intervals with total gross thickness of 456 feet (140 meters). The well tested at a rate of 51 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas from two of the six intervals. Both tests were equipment-restricted.

Macuira 1X is Chevrons first well in Block 3, one of five offshore blocks in Plataforma Deltana, northeast of Venezuela. It is located relatively close to, and on trend with, the Loran gas field in Block 2, where the company drilled successful exploration wells in 2004. The Macuira 1X exploration well was drilled in 382 feet (116 meters) of water, approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of the Block 2 field and approximately 75 miles (121 kilometers) offshore.

"The success of the Macuira 1X well is exciting in that it confirms the extension of the prolific Columbus Gas Basin farther into Venezuelan waters and also provides additional follow-up potential in the block," said John Watson, president of Chevron International Exploration & Production. "The continued exploration success offshore Venezuela reinforces Chevrons upstream strategy focused on superior exploration opportunities. Equally, the ongoing success of these exploration activities will play an important role in helping the company grow an integrated gas business in the region."

Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Latin America Upstream, added: "Considering the Macuira 1X discovery is located adjacent to the Loran gas field in Block 2, Plataforma Deltana appears to now have the resources needed for a detailed evaluation of Venezuelas first LNG train. With final endorsement of the evaluation program, this will provide the blueprint for Chevron to proceed aggressively with Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and its partners in the region to make Venezuelas Plataforma Deltana LNG a reality by the end of this decade."

LNG is natural gas that is liquefied under extremely cold temperatures to facilitate transportation and storage, usually from remote locations such as offshore gas fields.

ChevronTexaco Global Technology Services (100 percent) operates Block 3, and PDVSA has an option (up to 35 percent) to back into the block upon declaration of commerciality. Chevron was awarded the license for Block 3 on Aug. 6, 2004.

In early 2005, Chevron announced that one well at the nearby Manatee area of Block 6d had also been successful. This well appears to extend the six shallow gas sands discovered in the Loran Field into Trinidad and Tobago waters.
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