PORLAMAR, Venezuela, Apr 17, 2007 (Dow Jones News)
Brazilian oil company Petroleos Brasileiros SA (PBR), Petrobras, remains interested in jointly developing four fields with Petroleos de Venezuela (PVZ.YY), PdVSA, in the Mariscal Sucre natural gas project, a Brazilian government official said Monday.
"Of course (we are willing to participate). There has been some slight delay in the talks but not because of Petrobras," Marco Aurelio Garcia, international affairs adviser for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, told reporters during an energy summit in Margarita Island.
PdVSA has held talks with Petrobras hoping to hammer out a project development agreement, but no final decisions have been reached so far. Venezuela's oil company turned to Petrobras after ditching Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA.LN) in 2005 due to stalled negotiations.
The oil-rich nation last offered the Brazilian company a 40% equity stake in the project, up from the 35% originally offered.
The drawn-out negotiations that started in 2005 led many to question if Petrobras was still in line to participate in Mariscal Sucre.
Garcia said that there are many deals to sift through and that partly explains the drawn-out talks. He insisted, however, that both parties continue to look into the project.
"There is no interruption in the relations between Petrobras and PdVSA," he said. "On the contrary, we've deepened our relations."
PdVSA aims to use the natural gas reserves in Mariscal Sucre to supply a planned gas pipeline that will stretch across South America, to Argentina.
Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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