Petrobras awaits Venezuela ministry decision

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras is still awaiting a date by Venezuela's energy and oil ministry to sign a contract for a new E&P license it was awarded in November.

Offshore staff

(Venezuela)- Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras is still awaiting a date by Venezuela's energy and oil ministry to sign a contract for a new E&P license it was awarded in November.

A consortium of Petrobras and Japanese energy firm Teikoku was awarded the Moruy 2 offshore natural gas block in western Venezuela as part of the second stage of the Rafael Urdaneta tender. The companies paid $19.5 million for the license.

The 30-year license was originally to be formally signed on November 30, with two other licenses awarded to Vinccler Oil & Gas (Castillete Noreste 2 block) and a consortium of Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol YPF (Cardon 4 block) at an official ceremony in Paraguana, Falcón state, but the energy and oil ministry delayed the date indefinitely. No reason was given for the delay.

Petrobras' country manager for Venezuela Gerson Faria Fernandes said "Whenever the government is ready we will sign it."

Despite the delay, Fernandes said Petrobras is bullish and expects to expand in the country in the future: "Our plan for 2006 is to keep on growing in Venezuela."

12/15/2005

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