Venezuela’s government oil corporation, PDVSA, in considering with Argentina’s YPF exploring for oil and gas in the area next to Falkland/Malvinas waters, revealed the president of the corporation and Minister of Petroleum and Mining.
“We talked about the need to explore for oil and gas in the Argentine territory and also off shore, in the areas next to the Malvinas Islands, but first we must analyze costs and timings”, said Rafael Rodriguez Carreño in a Sunday interview with Pagina 12, a Buenos Aires daily very close to the government of President Cristina Fernandez.
The Venezuelan official said he held talks on the issue with YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio during the meeting held in Buenos Aires last week when potential agreements between the two government oil corporations (PDVSA and YPF) were addressed.
London AIM listed exploration companies recently found good prospects for oil in Falklands’ waters and one of them, Rockhopper Exploration, reached an agreement with UK Premier oil, involving a billion US dollars for the development of hydrocarbons resources from the very promising Sea Lion prospect.
The Argentine government was furious with the announcement and again warned that all those oil and gas companies and their logistic supporters and providers will be exposed to fines and other measures under Argentine Law.
The Falklands government brushed aside the threats and London reiterated support for the Islands to develop its own oil industry in the South Atlantic waters.
Rodriguez Carreño said the financing for such joint operations and other projects in Argentina will much depend on strengthening the undertakings between the two companies combined, in Venezuela.
“We have a field in the Orinoco belt with a daily production of 130.000 barrels and we are planning to increase that to 160.000 bpd. This together with a second field to develop could take the production to over 200.000 bpd. The idea is to create a Transitory Unit of enterprises (UTE) and with those assets we can plan the financing of all those developments we are programming in Argentina”, said the Venezuelan minister.
The heavy oil Orinoco belt in Venezuela covers an area of 55.134 sq kilometres with proven reserves of 235 billion barrels.
Finally Rodríguez Carreño said that Venezuela is following closely the activities of Repsol and calls for caution about the Spanish company’s warnings to Argentina after the government of President Cristina Fernandez seized last April 51% of YPF from the Spanish corporation.
“Repsol should think twice before it pretends to attack YPF… we don’t threaten. What we are saying is that we are consistent with criteria, and we won’t allow the Argentine nationalized company to be run over” by anybody. “Natural resources in Latin America and particularly in Mercosur belong to the member countries”.