PDVSA Considers New Crude, Gas JVs to Add 100,000b/d

Venezuela's energy and oil ministry and state oil firm, PDVSA, is devising a plan to set up new E&P joint ventures modeled on the 22 JVs that came into effect this year, PDVSA director Eulogio del Pino told BNamericas on Wednesday.

The companies in the 22 existing JVs are being encouraged to take part in these new ventures using the US$940mn in vouchers they received as compensation when they entered into the PDVSA-dominated partnerships, said del Pino, who was speaking on the sidelines of the 17th International Gas Convention in Caracas.

The idea is to add 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude in two years' time to the 350,000b/d the existing JVs are currently producing, the executive said.

"The ministry has informed us the possibility is being evaluated in areas neighboring the existing joint ventures. As a product of the migration companies have those US$940mn in vouchers and will have the opportunity to participate in these new JVs with the vouchers," del Pino said. The JVs will be able to explore for and produce both crude and gas.

The present JV model suits PDVSA much better than the previous operating agreements scheme and now the state oil firm is keen to push an increase in crude and gas production through the new arrangement, del Pino said.

"Joint ventures as they are today are a great opportunity. We are very interested in increasing production in several areas currently abandoned and closed," he added.

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