Venezuela Resets Timetable for Orinoco Oil License Round

Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt
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CARACAS (Dow Jones Newswires), Apr. 29, 2009

Venezuela's oil minister met with foreign oil companies Tuesday to brief them on the country's decision to adjust the timetable for the opening of the oil-rich Orinoco region once again to foreign investment.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez met with representatives from 19 oil companies interested in bidding for several Carabobo blocks located along the Orinoco river belt, the richest piece of oil real estate in the country, state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, PdVSA, said in a statement. Ramirez informed the companies they will soon receive a revised set of selection guidelines and a mock contract to be used to draw up the eventual joint ventures with the state.

Interested companies will now present their bids on July 28 and the government will announce the selected partners on August 14, the release said.

The companies present at the meeting included Brazil's Petrobras Parcipaciones Ltd., a unit of Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), and the local units of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA.LN), StatoilHydro (STO), Total Oil (TOT), BP Plc (BP) and Chevron Corp. (CVX).  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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