Venezuela, Russia firms sign ‘historic’ oil contract

Venezuela, Russia firms sign ‘historic’ oil contract

ORINOCO BELT, Venezuela - Agence France-Presse
Venezuela, Russia firms sign ‘historic’ oil contract

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez (L) speaks to Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin of Russia. REUTERS photo

Venezuela and a consortium of Russian oil firms led by Rosneft have begun extracting oil from the petroleum-rich Orinoco Belt and signed a raft of new energy agreements.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and Rosneft head Igor Sechin attended a ceremony Thursday at the Junin-6 bloc, operated by a joint venture between state-run Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Russian firms Gazprom, Lukoil and Rosneft.

The 55,000 square kilometer field near the eastern town of Zuata is estimated to contain 220 million barrels of heavy crude, and operators hope to produce 450,000 barrels per day.

“Undoubtedly, this is one of the most interesting projects in the world,” Sechin said. Sechin said the consortium has invested $800 million in Venezuela. The delegation later met with President Hugo Chavez, who signed eight new energy agreements, including one to invest $1.5 billion to develop the Carabobo field, to generate up to 300,000 barrels per day in the coming years. Chavez said this was “historic.”

Rompetrol Group invests in refinery

CONSTANTA – Hürriyet Daily News

The Rompetrol Group, a unit of Kazakhstan’s state-run national oil and gas company KazMunayGas, inaugurated newly developed facilities at its Petromidia refinery in Navodari, a small Romanian town by the Black Sea coast at a time when the European refinery industry is shrinking rapidly.

The group has invested a total of $380 million in the refinery business since 2006, increasing the annual operational capacity to 5 million tons per year and meeting new European Union fuel specification standards, according to a presentation made by Arman Kairdenov, vice president of Rompetrol, on Sept. 27.

“European refineries have a surplus of refining capacity, that forces small and inefficient refineries to close their businesses,” the company executive said.