ConocoPhillips Acquires Stake in Gulf of Paria East Area

Venezuela's Ministry of Energy and Mines approved a deal which gives a consortium led by ConocoPhillips the rights to a block in the Eastern area of the Gulf of Paria. Under the terms of the deal, ConocoPhillips and its partners purchased 75 percent of Venezuelan engineering and construction firm Inelectra's interest in the Gulf of Paria East area.

Inelectra won the rights to explore the field under a profit-sharing agreement awarded during a 1996 bidding round. This consortium also includes Italy's Eni and Opic, a subsidiary of Taiwan's Chinese Petroleum Corp. Once the transaction is completed, participation in the agreement will be distributed as follows: ConocoPhillips Venezuela, 37.5 percent; Eni Venezuela BV 30 percent; Inelectra, 25 percent; and Opic, 7.5 percent.

PDVSA has the option of taking a stake of up to 35 percent in the development if it is declared commercial.

ConocoPhillips, Eni, and Opic are already partnered in the Gulf of Paria West block, which they won during the same 1996 bidding round and which contains the Corocoro oil field. They announced a development plan for Corocoro earlier this year.