The company was amongst a handful of local and international outfits including US major Chevron and consortiums that included Spain's Repsol YPF and Japan's Teikoku) which received five new licenses to explore and produce natural gas in as many blocks.
Gazprom won two blocks, Urumaco I and II, both off the shore of western Venezuela's Falcón state, and has retained a vessel, the Akademic Nemchinov, especially fitted out to collect the data. The article says other vessels should be arriving soon to conduct similar activities in the area.
According to Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, there are some 26 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and some 7 billion barrels of crude in the Gulf of Venezuela area and northwest Falcón state, which comprises all of the blocks awarded last year, plus some that will be open to bidding this year.
The grand total of Venezuela's proven natural gas reserves stands at 151 trillion cubic feet, according to official PDVSA figures.
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