Texaco, Philips with PDVSA in Orinoco oil upgrade project

Nov 21, 1996 01:00 AM

Venezuelan PDVSA has approved the incorporation of Texaco and Phillips Petroleum to a $3.5 bn joint venture with PDVSA unit Corpoven and Atlantic Richfield Co to produce about 200,000 bpd of synthetic crude from the Orinoco Tar Belt. Under a preliminary agreement Arco and Corpoven will each have 30 % stake in the joint venture with Texaco and Phillips taking 20 % each. The joint venture was approved by the government but still requires Congressional go-ahead. Congress is expected to discuss the project early next year. Under the joint venture, the companies will work together to produce up to 200,000 barrels per day of nine-degree API extra- heavy crude oil from the Hamaca zone in Venezuela's Orinoco tar belt. The project will have three phases, including construction of a pipeline and an upgrading unit on the Caribbean coast at San Jose, north of the field, by 2001. By 2006, the joint venture will be converting 180,000 bpd of heavy crude into 25-degree API crude, similar in quality to Alaskan North Slope Crude.

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