Venezuela to Resume Offshore E&P Gas Licensing

Venezuela's government will resume the Delta Caribe offshore natural gas E&P licensing process this year, awarding some blocks in 2007, PDVSA Gas president Felix Rodriguez told BNamericas.

"[Delta Caribe] is part of the state's strategic policy and is being handled by the energy and oil ministry. There are some blocks going out and some are on the backburner," Rodriguez said.

Delta Caribe, originally due to be awarded November 28, includes three blocks near La Blanquilla Island and a fourth between the Orinoco river delta and Trinidad & Tobago.

The government delayed bidding in light of the December 2006 presidential elections.

The government invited 34 companies to participate in the auction, of which 13 paid for rights to take part.

The 13 are: Anglo-Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-B); Brazil's Petrobras (NYSE: PBR); Japan's Teikoku and Mitsubishi; France's Total (NYSE: TOT); US major Chevron (NYSE: CVX); Russia's Lukoil; Hocol; Italy's ENI (NYSE: E); India's ONGC; Spain's Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP); Norway's Statoil (NYSE: STA); and Vinccler, the Venezuelan unit of Canada's PetroFalcon (TSX: PFC).

PDVSA Gas is a subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA.

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