PDVSA: Reserves Could Grow to 316Bb

Venezuela's proven oil reserves total 81 billion barrels (Bb) and could grow to 316Bb by 2008, newspaper El Universal quoted state oil firm PDVSA president Rafael Ramirez as saying.

PDVSA reported 75Bb in a July presentation.

"We are sure that we will incorporate into our proven reserves, in our books, 235Bb of oil that can be recovered from the Orinoco oil belt," the paper quoted him as saying.

Ramirez accompanied President Hugo Chavez during the drilling of a new well as part of an E&P campaign that seeks to assess Orinoco reserves.

"We are in a program that should wrap up in November 2008," Ramirez said of the program.

If Ramirez is right, the program could bring Venezuela's reserves to 316Bb, the highest in the world.

Earlier this year, researchers from PDVSA's R&D arm Intevep told BNamericas there could be up to 1 trillion barrels in Orinoco.

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