PdVSA to certify 235 bn barrels in proven reserves

Jan 30, 2009 01:00 AM

Venezuelan state PdVSA this year will certify 235 bn-plus barrels of oil, almost all from fields in the Orinoco extra heavy crude oil belt, the information ministry said.
"The state oil company has as its main objective to position Venezuela as the country with the largest oil reserves worldwide," the ministry said.

The reserves would come from the four main Orinoco areas: Boyaca, Junin, Ayacucho and Carabobo. It is in a subdivision of Carabobo that PdVSA last year started offering new exploration and production licenses -- the first in more than a decade -- for seven oil fields, in projects that will include new crude upgrading facilities.
The Venezuelan oil ministry said last year that Venezuela already has 152.56 bn barrels in proven reserves, almost half in heavy to extra-heavy crude also from the Orinoco belt.

PdVSA has been working with Canadian oil accountancy firm Ryder Scott, as well as several national oil companies, mostly from ideologically akin countries such as Vietnam and Iran, to assess the Orinoco reserves carefully as part of the Magna Reserva plan which began in 2006.
Intevep, PdVSA's R&D arm, when Magna Reserva was launched in 2006 said there were 1 tn barrels in the Orinoco, of which 20 %-30 % was retrievable using existing technology. Since that announcement, at least one successful experiment with improved retrieval technology, MIS, has been reported by PdVSA.

PdVSA top officials have said that once all of the retrievable oil from the Orinoco is tallied up, Venezuela is to surpass Saudi Arabia in terms of proven reserves.
However, Orinoco crude, while plentiful, presents its own set of challenges, including the need to upgrade it before it can be refined.

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