Venezuela offers oil production figures sharply above estimates

Nov 21, 2003 01:00 AM

Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said in Washington that current Venezuela's current oil production is 3.25 mm bpd, and if you add condensates and heavy oil, the production rises to 3.36 mm bpd, according to reports. Industry observers and analysts said the figure is sharply above all independent industry estimates, even OPEC sources put Venezuela's oil production at 2.564 mm bpd (without condensates and heavy oil) for the month of October.
Ramirez said that Venezuela wants to spend $ 40 bn to raise production capacity to 4.5 mm-5 mm bpd. Industry observers said that Venezuela is not in the capacity of raising that kind of money all along to invest in the oil industry. Reports said that Venezuela is ready to take over all alone the development of the Tomoporo oil field. Several weeks ago Ramirez said Venezuela was is looking for a joint venture between Venezuela’s oil company and a foreign oil company who would develop the field.

Tomoporo is a field within the Maracaibo basin, 20 kmsouth of the Mene Grande field, Venezuela’s oil company PdVSA plans are to raise its overall crude oil production to 4.8 mm bpd by 2008 from the current estimated level of 3.0 mm bpd. According to recent reports, Tomoporo could reach output of 250,000 bpd by 2008.And has an estimated recoverable reserves of around 1 bn barrels, is currently pumping about 35,000 bpd, but with new investments could reach 250,000 bpd by 2008.
Most of the international oil companies are interested in field including Shell, Repsol-YPF, Total, Statoil, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco. Regarding the upcoming OPEC meeting in Vienna, Ramirez said he would support a cut in the group's output ceiling if needed to stabilize prices. Ramirez added, that he will be looking at where prices are, and what prices will be in 2004. Ramirez said OPEC should look "cautiously" at oil prices in 2004. "I believe that right now there are not enough facts to tell the decision" that will be taken at the meeting.

Ramirez also told that OPEC ministers will not review the idea of raising the group's reference price band at the Dec. 4 meeting. He said Venezuela's suggestion that the band be increased to a range of $ 25-$ 32 from the current $ 22-$ 28 range is in the hands of an OPEC technical committee and won't be an item on the ministers' agenda. Ramirez said he believes the current oil supply in the market is "at a level that's appropriate."
Ramirez added he plans to meet with the oil minister of non-OPEC Mexico Felipe Calderon, but meeting with Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Naimi and Mexico’s Calderon before the OPEC meeting was not possible due to time constrains. Ramirez, met with officials of the US State and Commerce departments, and was scheduled to meet with the US Energy secretary.

Source: Petroleumworld
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