Iran, Venezuela to invest USD 4 billion in Orinoco Oil Belt

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 07 Feb 2014 08:28

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Venezuela and Iran agreed to speed up joint works in Block Ayacucho 7, with an estimated investment of USD 4 billion, to certify and expand Venezuelan proven reserves. The move came under the instruments the Venezuelan and Iranian state oil firms Petropars and Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), respectively, have entered into, in the framework of the Orinoco Magna Reserva project.

People’ Minister of Energy and Petroleum and President of PDVSA Rafael Ramírez said "certification works are under way successfully in Block Ayacucho, where there are some 31 billion barrels of original oil in place, and production is expected to begin in around two years.”

The bilateral agreements are part of 22 energy conventions Venezuela has initialed with Iran to date. These accords envisage the organization of an international bilateral state company, resulting from synergies between Petropars and Pdvsa. Under this company, Petropars and Pdvsa are to undertake common projects, as well as the construction of four Aframax ships for PDV Marina in Iran.

Further, Iranian corporations are to organize joint ventures with Pdvsa to build offshore oil infrastructure, “both in Delta Platform and in Gulf of Venezuela, where they are working and we have ships performing seismic surveys. Therefore by the end of this year we will have oil rigs in Gulf of Venezuela. Things are moving really fast to pump the first barrels of oil drilled under this joint project,” Ramírez stated.

These conventions came after President Hugo Chávez’ latest tour of Iran, Belarus and Russia. In Moscow, Chávez met with Russian firm Lukoil’s officials. Lukoil actually owns a stake in Orinoco Oil Belt, while Gazprom is conducting prospecting works in Urumaco I and Urumaco II in Gulf of Venezuela. Gazprom has voiced interest in cementing an alliance with PDVSA in Orinoco Oil Belt.

Additionally, the creation of joint ventures with Belarus –a country with significant expertise in gas- is aimed at moving forward to the national gas plan. Under this project, some 3 million households will be included in the network of direct supply of natural gas.

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