ChevronTexaco to Invest Heavily in Venezuelan Field

ChevronTexaco is planning to invest approximately $100 million a year on the mature Boscan oil field in the Maracaibo area to keep current production at 115,000 barrels a day, a company official said Wednesday.

The field, which was handed over to the company in 1996, has pumped a total of 1 billion barrels of light crude and is likely to add another billion in the coming decades, said Gabriel Garcia, Boscan field supervisor. Garcia was speaking at an oil conference in Maracaibo, western Venezuela.

Output at ChevronTexaco's LL-652 oil field, which is in the same area, will be increased in the coming months to 17,000 b/d, up from the current 14,000 b/d, said Garcia. ChevronTexaco also plans to have its first natural gas production at the block it operates at the Deltana Platform project by 2009, said Garcia.

Venezuela awarded a block of the Deltana platform last year to ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips. First drilling will take place in 2004, said Garcia.

The natural gas produced from the fields will be processed into liquefied natural gas, or LNG, and exported to the U.S.