PdVSA speeds up plans to offset oil well decline

May 30, 2009 02:00 AM

The state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) is to speed up exploration and production plans to offset the decline in deposits and maintain the oil production level at 3.2 mm bpd.
Former chief economist of PdVSA, Ramón Espinasa, said the country needs to invest $ 9.5 bn to offset the decline and increase the production capacity in traditional areas.

Energy
The state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) is to speed up exploration and production plans to offset the decline in deposits and maintain the oil production level at 3.2 mm bpd, according to Hercilio Rivas, a director of the conglomerate.
Venezuela's oil production has been questioned by several international firms that claim that actual output is some 2.1 mm bpd, due to operational setbacks. Venezuelan authorities, however, reply that domestic production exceeds 3 mm bpd, according to a report prepared by research firm Inspectorate, as commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

"Old oilfields have a trend to decline and we are making efforts to avoid that," Rivas said in a forum where he disclosed the company's strategies in 2010-2030. The official stressed that the oil recovery factor (the amount of hydrocarbon that can be recovered from deposits compared to the estimated oil in-place) is about 25 %. In the Orinoco Oil Belt it is only 10 %.
Rivas said that the 2009 investment plan remains unchanged at $ 12 bn. He added that PdVSA "has muscle and is very powerful," and stressed that the firm has the capacity to meet commitments related to nationalizations.

The official also rejected the production figures provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency, claiming that they "are not true."
For his part, former chief economist of PdVSA Ramón Espinasa said that the country needs to invest $ 9.5 bn to offset the decline and increase the production capacity in traditional areas. In Espinasa's view, the state-run oil company has a restrained capacity in engineering and access to technology.

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