Lukoil and PDVSA Begin Junin-3 Exploration

The first stratigraphic well has been spudded on the Junin-3 prospective hydrocarbon block in Venezuela.

This event launches the second stage of the reserves estimation and certification program being carried out on one of the most promising oil blocks in Latin America. The work is being carried out under the agreement between LUKOIL Overseas and CVP (a subdivision of PDVSA, the national oil and gas company) signed on October 12, 2005.

The size of the Junin-3 block, located in the Orinoco extra heavy oil belt in Eastern Venezuela, is 640 square kilometers. The stratigraphic well with designed depth of 1,370 meters is the first of 17 to be drilled on the block. The purpose of drilling is to confirm the optimistic conclusions made by the joint group of specialists from LUKOIL Overseas and PDVSA during the first stage of the estimation and certification work.

In addition to drilling and review of its results, the second stage includes associated work – in particular, seismic surveys, interpretation and correlation of data from adjacent blocks, monitoring of the geological model, construction of a pilot hydromatic model and clarification of the oil reserves estimate.

The third stage of the project involving the construction of geological, statistical and fluid models of the block is expected to begin in the later half of 2007. The fourth stage of the project planned for August-October of the next year will involve certification of reserves by international experts.

Work on the Junin-3 block is part of the Magna Reserva strategic program being undertaken by PDVSA jointly with a number of foreign partners aimed at increasing Venezuela 's proven oil reserves by 235 billion barrels.