PDVSA, Ancap to form JV for Orinoco E&P

Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA and its Uruguayan counterpart Ancap will form a JV to perform E&P work in Venezuela's Orinoco heavy crude oil belt, PDVSA said in a statement.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vasquez signed an energy security treaty similar to the one Chavez signed with Argentina President Nestor Kirchner earlier this week.

Under the terms of the treaty, Ancap will explore the Ayacucho 6 block in the Orinoco belt jointly with PDVSA, which will expand the La Teja refinery in Uruguay from 50,000b/d to 60,000b/d to allow it to process Venezuelan crude.

Chavez also promised to construct an LNG plant in Montevideo, similar to the US$450mn plant PDVSA will construct in Argentina with the latter's state oil company Enarsa, according to press reports.

Chavez characterized the agreement as "historic" and said his country had agreed to provide Uruguay with oil, natural gas and gasoline for 100 years, according to the statement.

Ancap was unable to provide more information when contacted by BNamericas.

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