November 11, 2008

Gazprom Commences Drilling of Exploratory Well Offshore Venezuela

Russian gas major Gazprom has commenced the drilling of its first exploratory well in the Urumaco-I Block offshore Venezuela. The exclusive right to produce natural gas is held by the Venezuelan state-run oil and gas company PDVSA.

In August 2005, Gazprom had won a tender for Phase-A of the Rafael Urdaneta project and was awarded with natural gas exploration and development licenses for the Urumaco I and II blocks in the Gulf of Venezuela.

Venezuela's proven natural gas reserves account for 4.1 trillion cubic meters, with some 30 billion cubic meters of gas (mainly associated petroleum gas) produced domestically.

Gazprom said that Venezuela's proven crude oil reserves amount to 11.2 billion tonnes, or 7% of the global total, with Maracaibo, Falcon, Oriental and Apure being the largest oil fields.