Chavez: Yes, Give ONGC 2 More Orinoco Blocks

After signing a deal to invest $400 million dollars to develop Venezuela's Orinoco Belt in a joint venture on April 8, ONGC Videsh is being promised two additional blocks by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, reported The Economic Times.

Although the deal is dependant upon approval from Venezuela's "technical team," Chavez told The Economic Times that he is "certain" the team's technical evaluation "will be positive."

One of the blocks is located in the Junin fields while the other is the Carabobo field. Both fields have an estimated combined reserve base of 92 billion barrels of oil.

Last month, ONCG Videsh signed a deal with Venezuela to grab a 40% stake in the San Cristobal field.

"For some time now, we have started diversifying our oil market," Chavez is quoted as saying. "In the past, the sole market was US. Today, apart from US, we have markets in Caribbean, Africa, Europe and in Asia. And even in China; 300,000 bpd oil is sent to China and the goal is one million bpd.

"Now, with India, we are happy with the first step … [a] very important step. We have approved the presence of India in an oilfield here."

The technical evaluation will reportedly take four to six months to complete.

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