ChevronTexaco Confirms Interest in Gulf of Venezuela Tender

ChevronTexaco has confirmed its interest in bidding for hydrocarbon exploration licenses in Venezuela's Gulf of Venezuela tender at an unscheduled date this year, the head of state oil company PDVSA, Ali Rodriguez, told reporters.

"ChevronTexaco said that it is ready to invest in new blocks in the Deltana platform," he said. "There are [other] companies interested in investing that I cannot mention."

He said he could not give details on the tender that Venezuela is planning because it is strictly in the hands of the government.

"There is a lot of interest even with the 30% royalty," he said referring to comments that the higher royalties would block interest from foreign firms in the country. PDVSA will have a minimum 51% stake in oil exploration licenses, whereas in gas there is more scope for foreign participation. Rodriguez said that talks continue with Shell for gas exploration in the eastern part of the country.


PDVSA is developing new technology to mix Venezuela's abundant ultra heavy crude with lighter crude that allows greater return from local operations, Rodriguez said.

The company is in talks with Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) and Mexico's state oil company Pemex to improve oil recovery in the country's Orinoco belt from the current 8%Ito some 15% to 20%, he said.

Aside from deepwater exploration agreements, PDVSA is also in talks with Brazilian companies in the areas of lubricant manufacturing, refinery technology and investment in exploration and production in other countries, he said.

Rodriguez met with Petrobras CEO Jose Dutra and Rio de Janeiro state governor Rosinha Garotinho as part of his visit to the Rio Oil & Gas conference.