PDVSA Could Spin Off Gas Subsidiary

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA could spin off its gas subsidiary PDVSA Gas as an independent state company, newspaper El Universal reported.

"PDVSA Gas should be able to go solo," the paper quoted Jorge Luis Sanchez, president of gas regulator Enagas, as saying.

One problem is that roughly 40% of PDVSA Gas' equipment - especially pipelines - is at least 20 years old, Sanchez said, adding partnerships with countries with more natural gas experience such as Egypt and Belarus could help.

Pipelines have such limited capacities they cannot accommodate production increases, Sanchez said.

Further, Sanchez criticized private companies for not taking advantage of a provision that let them hold 100% in natural gas E&P projects.

Venezuela's government now aims to take at least a 51% share of private natural gas projects as part of its nationalization strategy.

The county's top two private producers, Ypergas and Barrancas, produce 120Mf3/d (3.4Mm3/d), less than 2% of total gas production, according to the report.

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