Total, CNPC Mulling Bid for Two Venezuela Oil Blocks

BEIJING (Dow Jones Newswires), Jul. 3, 2009

France's Total SA and state oil giant China National Petroleum Corp. plan to bid for two large oil blocks being auctioned in Venezuela instead of one they'd previously shown interest in, two people involved in the bidding round said.

"Total and CNPC are now bidding for two heavy oil blocks, and their bid includes building upgrading facilities to process the oil," one of the people said.

The people put the cost of developing just one of the two blocks the Sino-French group is looking at, plus building a processing unit to clean up the sludge-like oil from it, at $7 billion-$10 billion -- or even more.

It isn't clear how much more it would cost if oil from both blocks needed to be fed through separate upgraders, or if this is being considered by Total and CNPC.  

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