PDVSA Starts Drilling as Corocoro Operator

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA has started drilling after taking over operations of US oil major ConocoPhillips' (NYSE:COP) Corocoro project, according to a PDVSA statement.

Conoco so far has not accepted government terms for continuing in PDVSA-dominated joint venture deals in the South American country.

PDVSA did not specify whether it was referring to Corocoro Este or Corocoro Oeste, two side-by-side offshore deposits in eastern Venezuela in which ConocoPhillips has 37.5% and 32.5% stakes respectively. The properties are not in production.

ConocoPhillips also holds 40% in Orinoco JV project Ameriven, which also is subject to PDVSA's plan to take majority control.

ConocoPhillips is the only private-sector oil company that has not signed deals with PDVSA for state control of oil assets in the country.

Venezuela's government earlier this month took control of the country's oil projects.

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