PDVSA Expects To Begin Exporting Natural Gas in 2005

PDVSA expects that natural gas production levels will be sufficient enough to support exports by 2005. According to a company report, in 2005 PDVSA will have enough natural gas production for export. These increases will be coming from fields where gas output is not associated with oil production. Venezuela holds the world's eighth largest reserves of natural gas, which it has been eager to monetize in an attempt to replicate the success of the massive Atlantic LNG export project of gas-rich neighbor Trinidad. Most of Venezuela's natural gas is currently produced in association with oil field production and is re-injected to maintain well pressure.

The push for natural gas investment led Venezuela to open up its gas fields to development deals partnering foreign firms with PDVSA. Foreign interest has focused offshore, especially on the Deltana area near fields in Trinidad & Tobago. Gas from Deltana as well as from the foreign-backed Mariscal Sucre project in the Paria peninsula would feed a planned 4.7 ton per year LNG export terminal.