Chavez, Kirchner Launch Ayacucho 6 Drilling

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his Argentine counterpart Nestor Kirchner inaugurated drilling on the Ayacucho 6 block in the former country's Orinoco extra-heavy crude belt, according to statements from both countries' governments.

Drilling is focused on the MFD-29E well in the area of MFD-AJ (A604), according to Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA. Ayacucho 6 covers 477 sq km, some 95km from San Tome in Anzoategui state.

The project is part of Venezuela's Magna Reserva reserve assessment plan that PDVSA is performing with partners.

PDVSA and its Argentine counterpart Enarsa aim for a September certification of the reserves in the Orinoco area to be jointly developed by the companies, from which the companies could produce 300,000b/d of oil, Argentina's planning ministry said in a statement.

The figure is nearly half of Argentina's current 700,000b/d output and first results are expected for 2009, the statement said.

The heads of state also signed agreements related to vehicular natural gas, oil, natural gas and diesel, according to a statement from Argentina's government.

Specific terms of the agreements were not available at press time Wednesday.

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