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Venezuela PdVSA holds meetings with Repsol, Eni over ventures

CARACAS -- State oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela will host Repsol Chairman and Chief Executive Antonio Brufau to discuss and review accords between the two energy companies.

PdVSA didn' t specify what the discussions with Repsol would include. It noted, however, the state entity is in the process of "reviewing and advancing" agreements with its Spanish counterpart, as well as Eni.

Venezuela Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez met with Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni Dec. 21 "to evaluate future opportunities in fuel and gas production," PdVSA said.

Both Eni and Repsol have maintained close relations with President Hugo Chavez' s government, which has laid out ambitious plans for raising oil and gas production over the next several years. Critics, however, have raised doubts over Venezuela' s ability to sharply increase output, saying the government underinvests in the oil industry, and instead, diverts funds to finance pet social projects.

The European companies signed a contract last year with PdVSA to develop Venezuela' s large offshore Perla natural gas field. In August, PdVSA said it expected to reach its goal of producing 300 MMcfd in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Eni is also partnered with PdVSA to develop the Junin 5 oil bloc of Venezuela' s massive Orinoco heavy oil belt. The project, which includes the construction of upstream and downstream facilities, is seen requiring around $16 billion in investment in coming years.

12/26/2012

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