New Ministry Office to Tally Oil Output

Venezuela's energy and oil ministry (MEP) has created a new office for hydrocarbons metrology, which will tally the volume and quality of hydrocarbons extracted during E&P, the ministry said in a statement.

The data the new office collects will be "considered reliable and precise... to determine the royalty, extraction tax" and other taxes, according to the statement.

Venezuela has increased taxes and royalties for oil and gas E&P activities since 2004. Oil projects in Venezuela pay 83.3% or more in combined royalties and taxes.

Also, the new office will provide data about Venezuela's oil production, which is a matter of contention between state oil firm PDVSA, which says the country is producing 3.3Mb/d, and market-watchers such as the International Energy Agency, which puts the figure at 2.5Mb/d.

The head of the new Metrologia de Hidrocarburos office will be a general director in the ministry, one rank below deputy ministers Bernard Mommer and Maria Gabriela Gonzalez. An official has not yet been appointed to head this office, ministry officials told BNamericas.

The new office also will measure the volumes of oil derivates in transport and storage, the ministry statement said.

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