PDVSA Renames Nationalized Orinoco JVs

Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt
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Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA has renamed four JVs operating in the Orinoco heavy crude belt that were nationalized in June, PDVSA said in a statement.

Petrozuata, formerly controlled by oil major ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and now 100% controlled by PDVSA, has been renamed Petro Anzoategui.

Sincor has been renamed Petro Cedeno. Under the terms of the June nationalization, French oil company Total's (NYSE: TOT) interest in Sincor dropped from 47% to 30% and Norwegian oil company Statoil's from 15% to 10%. PDVSA now controls the remaining 60% of the venture.

Ameriven was renamed Petro Piar. PDVSA controls 70% of the venture after taking control of ConocoPhillips' former 40% share in the venture. Oil major Chevron (NYSE: CVX) holds the remaining 30%.

Finally, Cerro Negro will now be known as Petro Monagas. PDVSA controls 83.4% of the JV after taking over ExxonMobil's (NYSE: XOM) 42% share. Oil major BP (NYSE: BP) holds the remaining 16.6%.

ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips pulled out of Venezuela after failing to reach an agreement with PDVSA regarding the requirement that PDVSA control 60% of all JVs operating in the region.

The companies are still in negotiations with PDVSA for compensation of their nationalized assets.

The name changes are in line with socialist reforms and honor figures from Venezuela's history, President Hugo Chavez said in his weekly Alo Presidente talk show.

Chavez said daily production in the Orinoco belt is currently 510,000b/d.

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