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April 6th, 2006:

Hindustan Times (India): ONGC Videsh to have 15% stake in Brazil oilfield

Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, April 6, 2006
ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-owned exploration major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, is set to soon acquire 15 per cent equity stake worth $400 million in an oilfield in Brazil.
With this ONGC Videsh is set to add another overseas asset to its kitty of stake in 13 properties spread across a dozen countries, including Russia, Sudan and Myanmar.
ONGC Videsh's original plans to acquire ExxonMobil's 30 per cent stake in the Brazilian oilfield in Campos Basin had run into some problem with Royal Dutch/Shell, the operator of the field with a 35 per cent stake, deciding to exercise its pre-emptive rights to the stake sale.
Brazil's state-owned Petrobas, which also holds 35 per cent stake in the field, has however decided to forgo its pre-emptive rights in favour of ONGC Videsh, paving way for its entry into the South American country.
“With Petrobas having agreed to forego its rights in ONGC Videsh's favour, the process is now on for Shell to first acquire ExxonMobil's stake. In turn, Shell will be transferring 15 percent stake to ONGC Videsh in a $400 million plus transaction,” official sources said.
“The deal is expected to be signed soon, possibly next week. The Campos Basin BC-10 field is a discovered oilfield,” a senior ministry official said.
In December, ONGC Videsh had got the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) to invest $820 million in the Brazilian field BC-10 for acquiring 30 percent stake. But now the deal is set to be of a much lower value.
The Indian investment in Brazil is likely to see further attempt by Petrobas to enter exploration activities in India through participation in the latest round of 55 exploration blocks offered for bidding. In the earlier round (NELP-V), Petrobas had failed to make the mark, official sources said.
The Brazilian company has indicated to ONGC that it would like to join hands with it in the NELP-VI round. read more

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Ros Business Consulting: Experts to decide on higher investment in Sakhalin-2

RBC, 06.04.2006, Moscow 16:13:37.
An expert commission will have analyzed the option of increasing investment in the Sakhalin-2 project from $11.5bn to $20bn by June 2006, Deputy Industry and Energy Minister Andrei Dementyev has told RBC.
Experts are now working to determine the expedience of such an increase at the instruction of the Russian government, he added. The respective task was given after Sakhalin Energy (the Sakhalin-2 project operator) had requested the Russian government to consider the above-mentioned increase in investment to $20bn. read more

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Lloyds List: LNG facilities expand to keep pace with export ambitions

Country plans to become the world's largest LNG exporter within four years
Apr 06, 2006
The expansion of Qatar's liquefied natural gas capacity continues apace as the country aims to become the world's biggest LNG exporter, shipping over 77m tonnes a year from 2010.
Further investment is now in progress at both the Qatargas and Rasgas facilities in Ras Laffan.
In the past few months, Qatar Petroleum, ConocoPhilips and Royal Dutch Shell have announced the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for two further large LNG trains, for the Qatargas 3 and Qatargas 4 LNG projects.
These contracts have been won by a joint venture between Chiyoda and Technip France.
Each of the two trains will have a capacity of 7.8m tonnes annually and the total price for the EPC contract is around $4 billion.
Qatargas 3, jointly owned by QP (68.5%), ConocoPhilips (30%) and Mitsui (1.5%), will produce LNG mainly for shipment to the United States. The first LNG cargoes are expected to be lifted from this train in 2009. In the past few months, Qatar Petroleum, ConocoPhilips and Royal Dutch Shell have announced the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for two further large LNG trains, for the Qatargas 3 and Qatargas 4 LNG projects.
Qatargas 4 is a joint venture between QP (70%) and Shell (30%), and the majority of the LNG produced will again be exported to North America. It is expected that production from this facility will commence towards the end of this decade.
The country's original LNG plant, Qatargas 1, primarily supplies customers in Japan, although short and medium term agreements have been signed to supply LNG cargoes to other markets, including Spain, Turkey, Italy, the USA, France, Korea and the UK.
In January 2004, Qatargas 1 signed an agreement with Spain's Gas natural to supply LNG for a 20-year period, starting from 2005.
In December 2004, QP reached a deal with ExxonMobil to supply LNG to the UK. The $12bn Qatargas II project, in which ExxonMobil has a 30% stake, should be operational by late 2007.
Meanwhile, the development of Rasgas 3, a joint venture between QP and ExxonMobil, is now underway. Last year Rasgas awarded EPC contracts for trains 6 and 7 at its facility, each of which will have capacity for 7.8m tonnes per annum.
The Rasgas 3 project (including LNG transport vessels and other investments) is the largest LNG project that has been announced and is expected to supply gas principally to the US, beginning in 2008-2009.
Rasgas 3 last November signed contracts with Qatar Gas Transport and Teekay Shipping for the long-term charter of 12 large Q-Flex sized LNG vessels.
The ships are being built at the Korean Daewoo, Samsung and Hyundai yards.
The ships will be delivered to Rasgas between March and August 2008 and, with an LNG cargo capacity of between 210,000 and 217,000 cu m, will be the largest ships yet to be associated with a long-term Rasgas agreement.
Under the terms of the time charter agreements, Rasgas will charter these vessels for a period of 20 years to deliver LNG from train 6 into a purpose built terminal in the United Sates Gulf Coast. The completion of these agreements increases the Rasgas long-term charter fleet to a total of 26 ships.
Rasgas I operates two trains, and Rasgas II will have three. Train four became operational last year, and train 5 is expected to come onstream in 2007.
LNG is the star performer in terms of Qatar's export economy. Qatar exported 18.4m tons of LNG in 2004, rising to around 24m tonnes in 2005, as a result of Rasgas 4 coming on stream. As such, LNG now accounts for over 30 per cent of overall export earnings. With increased LNG production, it is expected that LNG export revenues will match that of oil by 2008. Japan is currently the largest importer of Qatar's LNG, followed by South Korea, Spain and India.
In 2006, Qatargas and Rasgas combined are expected to fulfil contracts totalling around 25m tonnes.
This will rise to over 78m tonnes in 2011. read more

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

AFX Europe (Focus): Wood Group JV wins 'multi-million' usd contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum

Apr 06, 2006
LONDON (AFX) – John Wood Group, the international energy services company said its joint venture, SKSWood, has won a “multimillion” usd contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum.
The contract is to design, procure, construct and install marine water injection pipelines and umbilical cables in Brunei Darussalam. The contract is for 17 months and is expected to create more than 140 jobs.
Work began at the end of March.
[email protected]

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

RIA Novosti (Moscow): Russian cos. won 87% of Sakhalin II contracts in 2005 – operator

15:41 | 06/ 04/ 2006
MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russian companies picked up 87% of contracts totaling roughly $1 billion on the Sakhalin II energy project in 2005, the project operator said Thursday.
Dutch-British-Japanese venture Sakhalin Energy is developing two vast fields on the Far East island that have estimated recoverable reserves of 150 million metric tons of oil and 500 billion cubic meters of gas.
Sakhalin Energy said in a statement that construction of Russia's first natural gas liquefaction plant was currently on schedule, and that deliveries to the Asia Pacific region and the U.S. would begin in 2008.
The project's supervisory board met on Wednesday to discuss an annual report on Russian companies' project involvement, and the implementation of the second phase of Sakhalin II. The statement said the board also discussed safety, environmental and labor protection, project financing, and staff training, as well as the timeframe for the project and how to push it forward.
It said Russian companies had won some $6 bln worth of contracts under the project since 1996.
The board includes six representatives from Sakhalin Energy and its shareholders, and six representatives of the Russian government and the Sakhalin Region administration.
Sakhalin Energy, owned by Royal Dutch/Shell (55%) and Japan's Mitsui (25%) and Mitsubishi (20%), is working under a production sharing agreement that gives the company major tax breaks in exchange for a share of production. The Sakhalin II project, which will likely cost over $20 billion, is based on a production sharing agreement signed in 1994. read more

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

AFX Europe (Focus): Oil prices up on US gasoline stock draw-down, continued outages in Nigeria

Apr 06, 2006
LONDON AFX – Oil prices were higher as traders remained concerned about yesterday's much larger-than-forecast drawdown in US gasoline stocks and as Royal Dutch Shell said it has yet to resume production at its 115,000 bpd EA offshore field in Nigeria.
At 11.33 am, May-dated Brent contracts were up 59 cents at 67.69 usd, after closing up 71 cents to 67.10 usd yesterday. Meanwhile May-dated US light crude futures were up 53 cents at 67.62 usd.
Prices closed up yesterday after the US Energy Information Administration said gasoline stocks, in focus at present ahead of the peak demand summer driving season, lost another 4.4 mln barrels last week.
“Stocks have now fallen almost 10 mln barrels in the past 2 weeks, and with gasoline demand averaging almost 9.1 mln bpd … concern about availability continues to keep the market well supported,” said Sucden analyst Sam Tilley.
He added that while much of the falls are due to the Energy Department's new gasoline specifications leading refiners to clean out stocks blended with the water polluting additive MTBE, gasoline remains a concern.
“The headline figure of a fall in gasoline stocks, despite the continued build in crude stocks, supports the market and should keep it above 65 usd for the short term as concerns also remain about Nigeria and Iran,” said Tilley.
Iran today announced it had successfully test-fired a “top secret” missile as it presses ahead with its week of war games in the Gulf amid rising concern about its nuclear programme — seen as a front for a weapons drive by the West.
Meanwhile in Nigeria, oil giant Shell today cast doubt on government promises it will restart its 115,000 bpd EA oilfield this week, saying shut in production remains at 455,000 bpd and that this includes the EA oil field. Oil prices are now nearing their all time record of 70.85 usd as worries about supply risks in Iran and Nigeria, and concern about US gasoline stocks, more than offset the oversupply of crude in the market.
The EIA said yesterday crude stocks gained another 2.1 mln barrels last week, bringing them back to their highest levels in 7 years, while distillates lost a seasonal 2.6 mln barrels but maintained a healthy surplus.
Christopher Bellew, an oil broker at Bache Financial, said prices were also being supported by an influx of fund money into the commodities sector, which helped lift copper and zinc to new record highs yesterday. [email protected] read more

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment. Zimbabwe: Total Acquires Exxonmobil

The Herald (Harare)
FRENCH global petroleum giant Total Group has finally acquired ExxonMobil subsidiaries in Zimbabwe following approval from the regulatory authorities.
Total is acting to consolidate its market share in the world's booming oil industry after inking an agreement last year with ExxonMobil to acquire its operations in 14 African countries. The acquisitions will take effect in several countries among them Ghana, Liberia, Togo, Guinea-Conakry, Sierra Leone, Chad and Ethiopia. Industry sources said the Zimbabwean deal was sealed two weeks ago and ExxonMobil was in the process of disposing some of its assets.
An official with ExxonMobil, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the disposal of assets started in December. “Only assets which are not part of the deal are being auctioned at ABC auction centres but we started doing that sometime in December last year before concluding the deal,” said an official with Mobil. “We are working on directives from the parent company which is headquartered in France and we are now working on a rebranding exercise.”
Mobil's local partners — Innscor and On the Run — will also come under the T otal umbrella. The official added that no job losses were expected. On the contrary, the change of ownership would result in more jobs being created. Once the deal is completed in other countries, Total will effectively up its market share from 9,7 percent to 10,8 percent, making it the world petroleum leader ahead of Shell whose share currently stands at 10,3 percent.
Sales volumes are also expected increase to 1,2 metric tonnes per year while an additional 500 service stations would start trading under the Total umbrella. The latest developments consolidate Total's heavy presence on the continent at all stages of petroleum chain from extraction right up to marketing. At the last count, Total was the largest oil player in Africa after Shell with more than 46 operations on the continent. Despite persistent shortages of fuel in the country, Total indicated that the deal would enable the firm to strengthen its fuel supply logistics into African countries including Zimbabwe. read more

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

BLOOMBERG: Alberta Bans Grizzly Bear Hunt as Oil, Logging Erode Habitat

April 6 (Bloomberg) — Barry Voogd will never forget the spring morning five years ago when he spotted a 350-pound grizzly bear in a field of oats in northwestern Alberta. He felt a rush of adrenaline as he raised his .338 Winchester Magnum rifle and fired, bagging his first grizzly.
“It was almost a once-in-a-lifetime experience,'' said Voogd, 42, who has been hunting in western Canada for more than 20 years.
Voogd may not get another chance. The Alberta government canceled the annual grizzly hunt, scheduled to begin this week, while it conducts a three-year study to determine how many of the bears are left in the province.
A surge in oil and gas drilling by companies such as Shell Canada Ltd., along with logging, a construction boom and agriculture, have reduced the bears' habitat by two-thirds in the past century, to about 200,000 square kilometers (77,000 square miles).
“The biggest source for the loss of habitat is industry,'' said Tracey Henderson, program director for the Canmore, Alberta-based Grizzly Bear Alliance.
Near-record oil prices prompted companies to drill 16,911 wells in the province last year, almost four times more than in 1983, according to the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.
Drillers are scooping up land at a record pace in Alberta. which produces 70 percent of Canada's oil output. Companies bought the rights to oil and gas developments on as much as 3.86 million hectares (9.55 million acres) in the past 12 months, according to Alberta's Energy Department.
Opposing Sides
The eroding habitat and declining bear population led to the province's first hunting ban, drawing praise from animal rights groups and angering hunters such as Voogd. Hunting accounted for almost half of all bear deaths directly caused by humans last year, according to the Alberta government.
“Once the hunt is taken away from the public, it's very hard to get it back,'' said Voogd, an electrician who displays his grizzly, standing on all fours, in the living room of his Edmonton home.
For decades, Alberta allowed limited hunting of grizzlies, the second-largest member of the bear family after polar bears. Last year, 2,800 people applied to hunt grizzlies, and 73 were issued permits. Ten animals were killed.
“We're dismayed with the government's decision because stopping the hunt isn't going to save the grizzly at all,'' said Martin Sharren, executive vice president of the Alberta Fish & Game Association hunting lobby. It estimates that the province has about 100,000 hunters.
Declining Number
The Grizzly Bear Alliance estimates that grizzlies in Alberta have dwindled to as few as 700, from a peak of 9,000 about 200 years ago. Hunters including Voogd contend that the current population is bigger. The government hasn't released an estimate, pending the results of its study.
The grizzly, or ursus arctos horribilis, stands out among bears. A hump between the shoulder blades distinguishes it from the more common black bear. The fur ranges from blond to brown to black, and males weigh as much as 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds). Even at that size, the bears can run as fast as 56 kilometers (35 miles) an hour, outpacing a horse over short distances.
While the grizzly is equipped with long claws to dig up roots and bulbs, they're rarely used to attack humans. Since 1998, grizzlies have mauled eight people and killed two in Alberta, government figures show.
Other Homes
Neighboring British Columbia has almost 17,000 grizzlies, roaming an area four times the size of the habitat in Alberta. In 2003, about 231 were taken by hunters in British Columbia, and hunting continues this year.
In the U.S., the number of grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park, mostly in Wyoming, rose to more than 580 in 2004 from as low as 136 in 1975, according to the Interior Department. Hunting is illegal in U.S. and Canadian national parks.
“Alberta has really stepped out of the dark ages,'' Defenders of Wildlife Canada executive director Jim Pissot, 57, said in a telephone interview. “It has finally admitted that grizzly bears are in trouble.''
Alberta hasn't declared the grizzly “threatened,'' as the province's Endangered Species Conservation Committee proposed in 2002. The federal government that year said Canada's grizzlies are a “species at risk,'' meaning they could become threatened or endangered.
“We should be talking about sustainability rather than designating the threatened status'' to the bears, said David Coutts, Alberta's minister for sustainable resource development, at a news conference last month.
Saving Habitat
Oil companies are trying to help preserve the grizzly's habitat. Talisman Energy Inc.; Shell Canada, which is controlled by Royal Dutch Shell Plc; Suncor Energy Inc.; and pipeline owner TransCanada Corp. have supported wildlife research studies that included grizzly bear habitat. Shell Canada is blocking public access to its service roads after the company has left an area.
Voogd, meanwhile, says he will hunt black bears instead, with his daughter Heidi, 15, and son Derrick, 14.
“My son will probably hunt black bear for the first time this spring,'' he said. “The whole family goes. It's a weeklong camping trip with the hunt mixed in.''
To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Sonja
Franklin in Calgary at [email protected] read more

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Houston Chronicle: Oil giants to steer clear until Nigeria has a truce

Worker safety must be assured, multinationals say
Reuters News Service
LAGOS, NIGERIA – Western multinationals have no plans to return staff to abandoned oil fields in Nigeria until there is a truce with militants who have attacked them, industry sources said Wednesday, dousing official expectations of an imminent resumption.
Militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, have waged a four-month campaign of kidnapping and sabotage against the world's eighth-largest oil exporter, which has cut supplies by a quarter.
An output of about 550,000 barrels per day of oil lies idle.
The rebels, who are demanding more local autonomy over the region's oil wealth, the release of two ethnic Ijaw leaders and compensation for oil spills, have threatened more attacks.
“The federal government must give us an assurance that the threat no longer exists and we must also hear from the militant side that that is correct,” an oil industry source said, asking not to be named.
“Anything short of that would be taking an uncalculated risk with our staff,” he added, noting that militants engaged troops in a gun battle in the delta on Thursday last week.
Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Edmund Daukoru, visiting Algiers, said he expected Royal Dutch Shell to resume production at its abandoned EA oil field in the southern Niger Delta imminently. The company has not confirmed this.
Daukoru said he had received assurances that the oil field would resume pumping 115,000 barrels a day today and that the rest of the halted wells would take 30 days more to return.
A Shell spokeswoman in London said, “We will return to the areas when it is safe to do so, and there's nothing known in terms of timing.”
A spokeswoman for Chevron, which also has production shut because of the crisis, declined to comment.
President Olusegun Obasanjo met delta activists, elders, officials and “youth leaders” — a local term for militants — on Wednesday afternoon, but MEND was not represented.
He set up a committee with a two-week deadline to draw up a detailed action plan for addressing infrastructure, education and employment in the region.
“We are not party to this jamboree. You will get our response to all this talk quite soon,” MEND said in an e-mail.
The government has dismissed the militants as “rascals” and oil thieves, but their demands are shared by many in the region who feel cheated. read more

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil Keeps Chavez Fighting

High Prices Arm Venezuela Boss
As He Battles Foreign Firms, U.S.
April 6, 2006; Page A4

Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez turned up this past weekend at two oil fields run by France's Total SA and Italy's ENI SpA to reclaim them on behalf of the government and Hugo Chavez, the country's fiery leftist president. Hoisting a Venezuelan flag over the fields, Mr. Ramirez said the move symbolized the return to state control after a decade of stewardship by private firms.
The dramatic gesture was proof — if more was needed — that Mr. Chavez is carrying a big stick when it comes to doing business in oil-rich Venezuela. While few people expect the former paratrooper to resort to radical steps like outright nationalization of the oil industry or cutting off supplies to the U.S., he is expected to continue his running battle with foreign oil firms as long as prices remain high. That will keep private oil companies guessing as to his next move and roil international oil markets along the way. That, in turn, will enable Mr. Chavez to maintain his posture by keeping oil prices high.
“He's completely in the drivers' seat and knows where to get extra cash when he needs to,” says Michelle Billig, director of political risk at Pira Energy Group in New York.
In recent years, Mr. Chavez has become a prime example of how high crude prices have sparked a resurgence of oil nationalism in parts of the globe. He has squeezed more money out of companies by raising taxes and royalties, strengthened the hand of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by championing higher prices, and threatened Washington with shutting off the flow of oil.
Yet despite his belligerent stance toward the U.S. and name-calling of President Bush, Mr. Chavez has no choice at the moment but to rely on the world's biggest — and closest — energy market. Venezuela's state oil company owns Citgo Petroleum Corp., a huge Houston-based company with refineries geared to handle heavy Venezuelan crude and a network of thousands of independent gas stations. Indeed, top diplomats from Venezuela and the U.S. met in Washington Tuesday to tone down the rhetoric on both sides and work on matters such as stopping the flow of illegal drugs from South America to the U.S.
But Mr. Chavez's tough tactics have raised alarm bells in Washington at a time of high prices and tight supplies, especially when Iran is also threatening Washington with restricting oil supplies and Iraq's oil production remains crippled. Although the Middle East's volatile politics have dominated concern about oil for decades, the U.S. relies on its own hemisphere for half its oil imports. Venezuela alone provides about 14% of U.S. crude imports.
The Venezuelan leader's influence is also being felt across the Andean region. In Bolivia, newly inaugurated president Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally, has said he plans by July 12 to issue a law nationalizing the natural-gas industry in his country, which has South America's second-largest reserves after Venezuela. While he has been vague about what that would entail, Bolivians have already taken a hard stance. Last year, Bolivia's congress passed a law that raised taxes and royalties on gas production and recognized the state as the sole owner of hydrocarbon resources.
In Peru, Ollanta Humala, a Chavez ally who is the leading candidate in Peru's April 9 presidential contest, has pledged to renegotiate oil and gas contracts, place a windfall tax on mining profits and ensure the state has a significant stake in private companies operating in “strategic” areas such as energy, mining and ports.
Venezuela is also pivotal to future global oil production. As the world runs out of easy-to-reach oil, Venezuela boasts potentially huge deposits. Venezuela has reserves of about 80 billion barrels of conventional oil and perhaps as many as 270 billion barrels of extra-heavy oil that must be substantially upgraded before it can be refined. If Caracas's census of heavy-oil reserves is accurate, that would place Venezuela ahead of Saudi Arabia in reserves and could eventually shift the balance of power in the politically sensitive oil business.
Venezuela is becoming a less-reliable source of crude, due as much to poor management as political choices. Rather than respond to current high prices by boosting output, the country has reduced its oil output since Mr. Chavez took power in 1998 to about 2.6 million barrels a day from a peak of 3.1 million in the late 1990s. A strike at state-run firm Petróleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, over Mr. Chavez's meddling in the oil giant caused the disruption, and he did little to help matters by firing some 18,000 high-ranking company workers.
Since that strike, Mr. Chavez has unilaterally rewritten the rules of the country's oil sector, which opened to outside investment in the 1990s. He has repeatedly raised taxes and royalties, and applied a more restrictive law retroactively to contracts signed in the 1990s — essentially changing them from fee-based deals to equity agreements whereby PdVSA has operating control instead of the companies. Mr. Chavez argues that those contracts, signed when oil prices were low, were too generous to oil companies.
Yesterday, Chevron Corp. said it would pay $75 million in back taxes, interest and fines to the Venezuelan government, as part of a drive by Caracas to raise the government's tax take by targeting oil companies.
Yet the size of Venezuela's oil deposits make it hard for foreign firms to pack up and leave. Of all the companies that operate there, only four — Exxon Mobil Corp., Total, Eni, and Norway's Statoil ASA — didn't sign on to Mr. Chavez's new terms. BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, for instance, both agreed to alter their contracts. “Chavez knows that if you don't like the terms, the next guy will,” says Rob Cordry, an analyst at PFC Energy in Houston.
Exxon has pushed back against Mr. Chavez's moves harder than most, but even it is playing the situation carefully. Following Venezuela's move to take control of operating agreements signed in the 1990s, Exxon's Ampolex Inc. unit agreed late last year to sell its 25% interest in a project known as Quiamare La Ceiba to Repsol/YPF Venezuela SA. In addition, Exxon is considering whether to take Venezuela to international arbitration on another project, Cerro Negro. The company said in a statement that it “wishes to explore an amicable resolution” with the Venezuelan government.
Exxon's resistance has cost it dearly. In February, Venezuela removed the Irving, Texas-based giant from a $3 billion petrochemicals project in which Exxon had planned to team up with Pequiven, the petrochemicals division of PdVSA. The next steps by Mr. Chavez could come in the area of heavy oil. Any further tightening of conditions could freeze future investment in the area, especially because such projects require a large up-front investment by companies in industrial facilities to upgrade the crude before they pump any oil.
ConocoPhillips, which gets about 9% of its global production and 5% of revenue from Venezuela, is closely monitoring discussion about changing taxation on heavy-oil projects. The Houston-based company operates the Hamaca and Petrozuata heavy-oil projects, recent investments that currently produce 260,000 barrels a day from the Orinoco belt. Asked about potential changes in taxing in January, ConocoPhillips Chairman and Chief Executive James Mulva said there had been “It's one of those things that I need to be — and plan to be — in Venezuela talking about.”
–Jeffrey Ball, Russell Gold, Bhushan Bahree and Peter Millard contributed to this article.
Write to David Luhnow at [email protected] read more

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.