Venezuela Sets Guidelines for Deltana Platform Bidding

The Energy and Mines Ministry of Venezuela has set forth guidelines for the bidding process for blocks 2, 3 and 4 in the Deltana Platform area, according to a report in the newspaper, El Universal. BG Group, ChevronTexaco, Statoil, and TotalFinaElf are the preferred bidders. BG and ChevronTexaco are the government's choice for development of Block 2, the Loran-1 block; Statoil for Block 3, the LauLau-1 block, and TotalFinaElf for Block 4, the Cociuna-1 block. A premium, an obliged participation of 1% to 35% of PDVSA in each of the blocks, guaranteed financing and development of national capital are among the main criteria the bidders are facing, El Universal said, quoting from a document of the Energy and Mines Ministry.

Bidding will be conducted on December 16 and the winners will be announced December 20.

The Deltana Platform is close to Trinidad border and consists of 27,000 square kilometers with estimated proven gas reserves of 20 trillion to 30 trillion cubic feet. The first exploratory well has produced 62 million cubic feet of natural gas and condensates a day. The project is expected to cost $3.8 billion over the next six years and create thousands of jobs.

The Deltana Platform also has two other blocks, Block 1, Dorado and Block 5 which is unnamed. BP will enter direct negotiations with the government to develop the first block, Dorado in partnership with PDVSA. The operatorship of the fifth block has yet to be decided due to complications. ExxonMobil was expected to receive this block, however, the final decision will be delayed until the beginning of next year.