(Venezuela)- Venezuela's energy and oil ministry announced plans to tender E&P licenses for three natural gas-rich offshore blocks in eastern Venezuela's Deltana platform in early 2006. The three blocks, Punta Pescador, Guarapiche, and Corocoro, are the first stage of further tendering planned for 2006, according to Rafael Ramirez, energy and oil minister and PDVSA president.
Some blocks in Deltana are already being explored. Chevron is exploring for gas in blocks 2 and 3, while Total and Statoil are partnered on block 4.
In preparation for E&P activities in the region, PDVSA is building an underwater pipeline system to bring gas production from Deltana to Cigma, as well as a $1 billion LNG and petrochemicals facility.
This recent announcement builds on the state's plans to open up its offshore locations for major E&P projects in 2006. In November, PDVSA Gas President Aníbal Rosas said that up to seven offshore areas could be offered up in 2006, five in the Deltana platform and the remaining two in the Gulf of Paria.
PDVSA currently produces about 6.5 bcf/d of natural gas, most of which is used for secondary crude recovery. The remaining 2.2 bcf/d is used for thermal power generation, refining and petrochemicals production.