PDVSA Gas Pursues Ypergas Partnership to Boost Gas Output

The PDVSA Gas unit of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA has asked Ypergas, a joint venture controlled by France's Total, to boost production of much-needed natural gas from the current 100 million cubic feet a day (Mf3/d) to some 300Mf3/d, officials from both companies told BNamericas on Thursday.

"If they produce more, we could devote some more gas to the domestic market, and that would definitely be a good thing," PDVSA Gas VP Felix Rodriguez said.

"Right now, the mission we have is that, wherever there is a molecule of gas, we have to go look for it and try to incorporate it to the domestic market."

Venezuela needs more gas to increase crude oil production from 3.1 million barrels a day (Mb/d) at present to some 3.4Mb/d by year-end, and for thermal generation to keep pace with 8% increases in annual demand. According to Rodriguez, the country urgently needs some 1Bf3/d additional gas.

"We are trying to see how we can improve the business model with Ypergas, for example. Right now, they process some 100Mf3/d, and they have the potential to increase that to 300-400Mf3/d," Rodriguez said. "Now, we know that is a pretty difficult gas to handle and that it may require additional investments. If they guarantee production, we can carry out investments in the areas of gas conditioning, mainly dehydration," Rodriguez added.

Spain's Repsol YPF and Venezuelan firms Inelectra and Otepi partner Total in Ypergas, the top private producer of natural gas in Venezuela. For the company, entering into a partnership with PDVSA Gas "is not an idea we would be closed to, it's just a possibility we haven't thought about until now, as you see we are barely in the beginnings, establishing ourselves as an enterprise," Ypergas institutional relations head Eudis Prieto said.

Ypergas produces from the Yucal Placer fields in Guarico state and started operations in 2002.

Visit BNamericas to access our real-time news reports, 7-year archive, Fact File company database, and latest research reports. Click here for a Free two week trial to our Latin America Oil & Gas information service.