Repsol, Galp Interested in Venezuela Carabobo Bidding

Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt
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MADRID (Dow Jones Newswires), May 29, 2009

Spain's Repsol YPF SA (REP) and Portugal's Galp Energia SGPS SA (GALP.LB) are interested in bidding for the development of the Carabobo area of Venezuela's oil-rich Orinoco Belt, company officials said Friday.

Repsol plans to bid for the Carabobo Norte I area, a Repsol press official said.

"Venezuela has a great potential, we want to have presence there," the official said.

A Galp press official said last week the company was interested in acquiring a stake in Carabobo, but a potential bid depends on what final rules Venezuela sets for the development of the extra-heavy oil province.

Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez met with 19 interested companies in late April and told them 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 have to present their bids July 28 and Venezuela's government will announce the selected partners Aug. 14.

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

Companies awarded stakes in the development of oil fields in the Orinoco Belt will have to take a minority stake and partner with Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA.  

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

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