Petrobras Awaits Ministry Decision to Sign E&P Contract

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras has not been given a date by Venezuela's energy and oil ministry to sign a contract for a new exploration and production license it was awarded in November, Petrobras' country manager for Venezuela, Gerson Faria Fernandes, told BNamericas.

A consortium of Petrobras and Japanese energy firm Teikoku was awarded the Moruy 2 offshore natural gas block in western Venezuela as part of the second stage of the Rafael Urdaneta tender. The companies paid US$19.5mn for the license.

"Whenever the government is ready we will sign it," Fernandes said.

The 30-year license was supposed to be formally signed on November 30 along with two other licenses awarded to Vinccler Oil & Gas (Castillete Noreste 2 block) and a consortium of Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol YPF (Cardon 4 block) at an official ceremony in Paraguana, Falcón state, but the energy and oil ministry delayed the date indefinitely.

Despite the delay, Fernandes said his company is bullish and expects to expand in the country in the future: "Our plan for 2006 is to keep on growing in Venezuela," he said.

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