Eni, PDVSA to Jointly Explore 2 Blocks Offshore Venezuela

Eni signed in Caracas, in the presence of the President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, a Memorandum of Understanding with PDVSA for the exploration and development of two offshore areas in Venezuela.

The two areas, Blanquilla Est and Tortuga, are located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of northern Venezuela, approximately 130 kilometers north of Puerto La Cruz. Water depths in the approximately 5,000 square kilometers covered by the agreement range from 200 to 500 meters. As confirmed by two wells drilled to date, the areas have a high potential for gas and condensate resources.

The development of the two areas will be an integrated business venture consisting of exploration, production, liquefaction and marketing activities linked to a new LNG train. The project will consist of two phases. The first phase will cover the exploration and reserve certification processes and will be carried out by a joint venture that includes PDVSA (20%), Eni (20%) and other partners. The second phase will be carried out by a mixed enterprise that includes PDVSA (60%), Eni (10%) and other partners. Reserves from the development will be primarily dedicated to the LNG facility, in which Eni will also have a 10% ownership.

Through this new integrated project, PDVSA and Eni will further strengthen and consolidate a strategic alliance that will facilitate the development of important resources for the country.

In Venezuela, Eni participates in the Petrosucre mixed enterprise (PDVSA 74%, Eni 26%), which operates the Corocoro field, and in the Petrolera Guiria mixed enterprise (PDVSA 64.25%, Eni 19.5%, Ineparia 16.25%), which manages the Punta Sur discovery. Corocoro and Punta Sur are both located offshore in the Gulf of Paria.

In addition, Eni owns a 50% stake in the Cardon IV gas exploration license, located offshore in the Gulf of Venezuela. Eni is also conducting with PDVSA a joint study aimed at the development of the Junin Block 5 in the Orinoco Heavy Oil Belt. Based on several wells already drilled, preliminary estimates indicate that resource potential on this block is in excess of 2.5 billion barrels of oil.