PdVSA, Ine Paria, Eni Create Company to Explore Central Paria Gulf

CARACAS Dec 18, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, announced Monday that it had reached a final agreement for the creation of a new company with Italy's Eni SpA (E) and Venezuela's Ine Paria for the Central Paria Gulf exploration project off the Venezuelan coast.

The new company will be called Petrolera Guiria, and the Venezuelan government will hold 64.25% of the shares. Eni will own 19.5% and Ine Paria will hold the remaining 16.25%, PdVSA said in a press release.

The new company will replace the former Central Paria Gulf agreement for exploration, a region which, according to PdVSA, holds great growth potential and has unexplored areas that will be exploited by the new company.

Earlier this year, President Hugo Chavez forced foreign oil companies operating in Venezuela to renegotiate their agreements with the state and to take a minority stake in joint projects.

ConocoPhillips (COP), which decided to leave the country because of that decree, previously operated in the Paria Gulf region.

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

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