PdVSA Confirms Compensation Deal with Total, Statoil

Venezuela has reached a compensation agreement with Total SA (TOT) and StatoilHydro (STO), stemming from the nationalization last year of a multi-billion dollar oil venture they controlled, a PdVSA official confirmed Thursday.

Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA, has "reached a compensation accord," a PdVSA spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires via telephone. The spokesman was accompanying Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who is currently in Vienna attending a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The spokesman added that "the minister declined to confirm or deny" the reported $1.1 billion compensation figure agreed with Norway's StatoilHydro and France's Total.

PdVSA, he said, is set to publish a press release on the matter.

According to a copy of the compensation agreement obtained by Dow Jones Newswires, PdVSA has agreed to pay $1.1 billion in compensation to its partners for accepting reduced stakes in the Sincor heavy-crude upgrader, the country's largest, now renamed Petrocedeno.

Ramirez told reporters in Vienna that PdVSA is expected to sign a deal with Total on Friday, "so both companies can move ahead in the new joint venture." He offered no more details on the matter.

Statoil and Total have declined to comment.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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