PDVSA Gas Could Develop 5 Inland Areas Alone

PDVSA Gas, a unit of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA, could be awarded E&P licenses for five unassociated natural gas properties, Venezuela's gas regulator Enagas president Jorge Luis Sanchez told BNamericas.

The properties are: La Galera in Cojedes state; El Pao, between Guarico and Cojedes states; El Totumo, straddling Guarico and Aragua states; Memo, which is near El Totumo; and Norte de Ambrosio in Zulia state.

Venezuela's energy and oil ministry (MEP) was expected to organize bidding for the areas but authorities are nearly certain they want to award it to PDVSA Gas.

"PDVSA Gas will probably be assigned those areas," Sanchez said. Enagas is affiliated with the MEP.

"PDVSA Gas has been evolving nicely," he said. "It is involved in a lot of challenging projects and we want to develop the free natural gas rapidly."

A decision could be made before the end of this year, he added.

Venezuela produces some 6.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day. The nation's largest private producer is Ypergas, a consortium made up of Spain's Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP) and France's Total (NYSE: TOT), which produces some 150 million cubic feet a day.

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