Venezuela Sets August Deadline to Define Orinoco JV Structures

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA’s partners in the Orinoco belt have until August 26 to define new shareholding structures of the joint ventures, government news agency ABN reported PDVSA president and energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez as saying.

The energy and oil ministry will announce on June 26 the JVs that it has approved and then pass the proposals to the national assembly for ratification.

PDVSA is requiring at least 60 percent ownership in all JVs operating in the Orinoco belt.

Many companies have been resistant to the new requirements but the Venezuelan government has defined its priorities, he said.

“This is clear to the transnational enterprises.”

The four Orinoco projects are producing 482,000b/d, including blends known as Zuata Sweet, Zuata Medium and Hamaca Blend, according to PDVSA. The projects have capacity to produce roughly 600,000b/d.

Companies operating in Orinoco JVs include the following: ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), France’s Total (NYSE: TOT), Norway’s Statoil (NYSE: STO), Italy’s Eni (NYSE: E) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), according to a statement posted on PDVSA’s website.

Venezuela’s government in May said it had taken control of the oil belt, forcing all private companies operating there to enter into PDVSA-dominated JV agreements.

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