Venezuela activates first offshore gas well

May 06, 2009 02:00 AM

State-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA, has "for the first time" activated an offshore gas well, an event that President Hugo Chavez hailed as a "historic act."
The start of operations at the Cruz de Mayo well, located in the Dragon field and one of the 36 wells in the Mariscal Sucre Project, was broadcast on national radio and television.
"It's exciting, instructive, it motivates us all... we wanted to show Venezuela this first flash from the first offshore well, (the) Cruz de Mayo," Chavez said during a Council of Ministers meeting that was partially broadcast nationally.

The drill ship that started operations off the coast of the eastern state of Sucre is carrying a team of "107 men and women who stay on the vessel and work day and night," Energy Minister and PdVSA chief Rafael Ramirez said. Exploration at Cruz de Mayo began on June 21, 2008, "with a maximum rate of 70 mm cf of gas per day expected to be obtained," PdVSA said.
The Mariscal Sucre Project calls for achieving production from "four fields located in the northwest of the Paria Peninsula: Dragon, Patao (dry gas), Mejillones (wet gas) and Rio Caribe (condensed gas)," PdVSA said, adding that the fields cover an area of 717 sq km (277 sq miles).

The gas fields could "produce up to 1.2 bn cfpd of gas, and approximately 20,000 bpd of condensed gas, which will be used to supply the domestic market," PdVSA said.
Venezuela has the world's 8th-largest reserves of natural gas, with its holdings of the fuel estimated at 180 tcf, and the South American nation is the world's 5th-largest exporter of crude oil. PdVSA has announced plans to expand gas production from the current level of 1.56 bn cfpd to 11.5 bn cfpd by 2012 to "guarantee the domestic supply."

Source / EFE
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