ENI, PetroCanada, Opic Sign MOUs with PDVSA

Italy's Eni (NYSE: E), Canada's PetroCanada (NYSE: PCZ) and Venezuelan independent Opic have signed MOUs that cede operational control of Venezuelan oilfields to state oil firm PDVSA.

Negotiations to form new joint ventures for the projects continue, PDVSA said in a statement.

PDVSA by law would hold at least 51% of the JVs, under which companies receive a sizable part of their revenue in bolivares.

ENI holds a 30% interest in the Golfo de Paria Este and 26% in Golfo de Paria Oeste projects and Opic has 7.5% in Este and 6.5% in Oeste.

Golfo Oeste, also known as Proyecto Corocoro, is due to start producing 70,000b/d of crude ranging from 17-24 degrees API this year and has a license until 2022. The area is believed to hold 430Mb, PDVSA said.

PetroCanada has 50% of La Ceiba, where partner ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) has already signed a MOU with PDVSA for the project, PDVSA said.

PDVSA last year halted production at La Ceiba, which never surpassed a few thousand barrels a day. The project had a 20-year license to produce about 50,000b/d in Trujillo state, western Venezuela, with an estimated gravity of 19-24 degrees API, PDVSA said.

US oil and gas major ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) has not yet signed an MOU for its stake in Venezuelan projects, where it holds 37.5% in Golfo Este and 32.5% in Oeste.

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