PDVSA Begins Offshore Natural Gas Project

PDVSA has started up the nation's first offshore natural gas project and is spending around $6 million a month on drilling. The initial exploratory phase will cost around $375 million for the next two and a half years, project manager Richard Aymard was quoted as saying. He was further quoted as saying that he expects total investment to reach $4 billion over the next six years, including a liquefied natural gas plant at the Paria Peninsula for exports.

The Deltana Platform project - located close to the Trinidadian border - consists of a block of 27,000 square kilometers with proven gas reserves estimated at around 20 to 30 trillion cubic feet. The Energy and Mines Ministry wants to include other companies in the project. Venezuela aims at increasing its natural gas business in an effort to lessen its dependence on crude oil and refined products.