PDVSA Begins 3 Year Offshore Exploration Program

Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez launched PDVSA's three-year, $375 million offshore natural gas exploration program in the Atlantic in the Deltana platform area next to the Trinidad maritime border.

The Deltana platform is approximately 174 miles from the Venezuelan coast next to the Lorane BG Gas southern Trinidad gas exploration area. The exploration effort in the Deltana area is expected to discover around 38 billion cubic feet of gas. PDVSA plans to invest $120 million on this project in 2002.

PDVSA will drill 10-14 exploration wells in the area over the next two years and if results are as expected, the plan calls for a $4 billion investment for developing and exporting which includes a $ 1.2 billion LNG plant and an petrochemical and chemical complex in Guiria area in Eastern Venezuela on the Deltana coastline.

For Venezuela's government natural gas has become a higher priority since Trinidad discovered huge amounts of gas reserves, the present government looks at the natural as a way of diversifying oil as Venezuela's number one export.

PDVSA is in need expertise in the area of offshore exploration and the company is looking for a strategic partner to join the exploration project. This project presents an opportunity for domestic and foreign investors to help explore the area.