Petrozuata drills first well in Venezuela's Orinoco Oil Belt

Oct 20, 1997 02:00 AM

August 31, 1997 After more than six years of detailed feasibility studies, development plans and historic negotiations, Petrozuata has started drilling its first well on a 55,000 acre tract in Venezuela's Orinoco oil belt. Petrozuata is a joint venture between Conoco and Maraven, a subsidiary of PDVSA.
The $ 2.2 billion operation will produce extra-heavy crude oil, transport it via pipeline to the north coast of Venezuela, and upgrade it into synthetic crude.
"This first well physically signifies Conoco's ties to a country where we hope to operate for many years to come," said Rob McKee, Conoco executive vice president for exploration and production. "Petrozuata is the first strategic association to reach this stage of operations, and the venture stands as a model project that is leading the explosive growth in the Venezuelan petroleum industry."
Ultimately, Petrozuata will drill over 500 horizontal wells to recover 1.5-2 billion barrels of extra-heavy oil during the venture's 35-year life.
Through the use of horizontal drilling technology, the productivity of the wells will be significantly enhanced.

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