PdVSA: Orinoco Signing Ceremony Postponed

CARACAS Jun 25, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Venezuela's oil ministry postponed the signing ceremony for the new stakes in the Orinoco river oil projects scheduled for late Monday.

Petroleos de Venezuela will sign new agreements with the companies Tuesday, which coincides with the deadline for all foreign oil companies to seal a deal with the government, according to a PdVSA press release.

The Orinoco oil belt contains some of the largest oil reserves in the world. PdVSA has partnered with Statoil ASA (STO), Total Oil (TOT), BP Plc (BP), Chevron Corp. (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) in the four projects located in this area.

So far Exxon and Conoco have been known to have reservations about the government's new plans for the oil upgrading projects in which they hold a stake. Talks with these companies have been less than amicable, and many observers have speculated they could choose to discontinue their involvement in those deals.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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