PDVSA and Gazprom Sign Gas Development Contract

On July 27, the Gazprom subsidiary OOO VNIIGAZ signed a contract with Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) that calls on VNIIGAZ to develop a "general scheme" for the mid- and long-term development of Venezuela's gas industry.

According to Gazprom, both parties will assess the status and potential of the Venezuela's mineral resource base development; gas demand forecasts; and projections in the gas production, transmission, distribution, underground storage, and processing sectors.

The contract signing represents greater cooperation between Gazprom and PDVSA within the memorandum of understanding that both companies signed in January 2005. The MOU outlines joint businesses in the energy sector: exploration & development of gas fields, development of oil & gas transmission infrastructure, gasification, processing of natural gas, introduction of innovative technology, and staff training. The parties also agreed to explore the potential for natural and liquefied gas shipments from Venezuela to third countries.