PdVSA Sees Repaying $1.76B Eni Loan in No More Than 3 Years

PUERTO LA CRUZ, Venezuela - State energy company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, will likely be able to repay a $1.76 billion loan from Italy's Eni SpA in no more than three years, a Venezuelan official said Wednesday.

The funds are slated to go toward development of the Junin 5 oil bloc in Venezuela's Orinoco heavy oil belt, a joint venture 60% controlled by PdVSA and 40% by Eni. The loan is part of a $2 billion financing agreement signed between both parties in January.

PdVSA has an open time frame to use the funds, but once they are disbursed, repayment would likely not surpass three years, Ruben Figuera, PdVSA's head of new project development in the Orinoco region, told reporters at an energy conference.

Junin 5 will need a total of nearly $16 billion in investment in coming years. About $9.7 billion will be needed for developing refining operations and another $6 billion for crude production.

The area holds some 35 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and is operated by two joint ventures formed between Eni and PdVSA.

Petrojunin manages the upstream operations while Petrobicentenario controls downstream operations.


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