Venezuela and Spain’s Repsol SA signed a new contract for a joint oil venture as the Andean country aims to increase output following the lifting of sanctions by the United States.
Venezuelan Oil Minister Pedro Tellechea and Repsol’s upstream leader, Francisco Gea, signed an agreement in Caracas that gives the European major additional operational and financial authority over their ventures in the Petroquiriquire Occidente and Oriente oil fields.
Repsol is the third major oil company to enter into new deals with Venezuela after Chevron Corp. was awarded a special license to restart production there. Etablissements Maurel & Prom SA of France secured a new contract last month as well.
Repsol recently dispatched a negotiating team to Caracas to investigate options for securing access to heavy crude for its oil refineries in Spain, including new oil resources.
The Madrid-based firm is also assessing PDVSA’s long-term debt for oil and gas sales. It includes debt incurred by PDVSA on natural gas sales from the offshore Cardon IV venture, which Repsol controls in collaboration with the Italian firm Eni. According to Ruben Perez, director of Chemstrategy, a Caracas-based energy consultancy, the project produces enough gas to supply about a third of Venezuela’s demand.
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