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Rosneft to lead Junin-6 oil project in Venezuela

BY JAMES MARSON AND KEJAL VYAS

MOSCOW -- Rosneft will become the leader of a Russian consortium that runs the Junin-6 oil block in Venezuela, a project being developed in partnership with Petroleos de Venezuela,a spokeswoman for the Russian company said.

Petroleos de Venezuela will remain the majority shareholder, with 60% of the project, Venezuela Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez explained in a press conference held in Caracas with Rosneft President Igor Sechin, who led a delegation of Russian executives to the South American country. Rosneft agreed last week to buy out another Russian company' s stake in the National Oil Consortium, a group of Russian companies that holds a 40% stake in the project in Venezuela' s Orinoco Belt. Rosneft now owns 40% of the consortium, while Lukoil, Gazprom Neft and TNK-BP each hold 20%. The venture aims to produce 450,000 bopd at peak production in 2018.

Separately, Rosneft is buying TNK-BP from BP and its partners in deals worth $55 billion. Mr. Sechin said that with new acquisitions of PdVSA' s Russian partners, Rosneft will begin the creation of a new headquarters in Caracas to oversee projects in Venezuela and around the region.

Petroleos de Venezuela signed MoU with its Russian counterparts to explore offshore gas and oil projects, as well as possibly draft a supply deal for oilfield drills. Mr. Ramirez said that Petroleos de Venezuela immediately needs three drills and the idea is to eventually get more from Russian parties. "Russian companies are taking a strong interest in Venezuela," said Mr. Sechin. In turn, Mr. Ramirez called the Rosneft executive "a friend of the country."

As part of its ambitious plans to drastically raise crude output in coming years, Venezuela' s Oil Ministry expects its Russian joint ventures to start pumping out a total of 930,000 bopd by 2019. The plans will require $46.9 billion in investment over the next six years, of which $17.6 billion will come from the Russian partners, Mr. Ramirez said. "We' re going to finance this in a direct way," Mr. Sechin told reporters, adding that he didn' t have preference for seeking financing from Russian or foreign banks.

Dow Jones Newswires

01/29/2013

 

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