Petrobras Starts Drilling for Gas in Cojedes State

Cojedes Gas
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Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) has started drilling its first natural gas exploration well in central Venezuela's Cojedes state, Venezuela's state news agency ABN reported.

Country manager for Petrobras Energia Venezuela Gerson Faria Fernandez and Cojedes state governor Jhonny Yanez Rangel attended an event to mark the start of drilling at La Blanca in Romulo Gallegos municipality.

The well will be drilled with a Saxon 126 type C drill that can reach 15,000 feet, ABN reported.

A company official in Caracas confirmed exploration in Cojedes had started but declined to offer additional details.

Petrobras and Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA signed an agreement for joint natural gas E&P in February 2005 during an official visit to Venezuela by Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva.

Foreign and domestic energy companies in Venezuela are stepping up exploration for natural gas. In 2005 the government awarded five new offshore blocks, one to US major Chevron (NYSE: CVX), two to Russian natural-gas giant Gazprom, another to a consortium of Petrobras and Japanese energy firm Teikoku and another to a joint venture of Italy's Eni (NYSE: E) and Spain's Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP).

Venezuela's energy and oil ministry plans to start a process to award seven new offshore licenses to explore and produce natural gas in eastern Venezuela in March.

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