The commencement was announced in a September 27 report by the national news agency of Venezuela (AVN). With an initial output of 800 barrels per day, the joint venture aims to reach 40,000 barrels per day one year after production began.
The Orinoco Oil Belt holds the world’s largest reserves, estimated at around 37 billion barrels. Under the 25 year-contract, the venture will exploit heavy crude oil and extra heavy crude oil from a field in the belt’s Junin 2 block.
The venture is one of Vietnam’s largest international oil and gas projects. According to a 2011 report from the State-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), Petromacareo is expected to invest nearly US$3.9 billion in the construction of infrastructure and drilling wells.
Output could eventually reach up to 200,000 barrels per day.
In April last year, PDVSA signed an agreement with PetroVietnam to expand the Dung Quat oil refinery , facilitating an increase in heavy crude oil production.
Minister for Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramirez recently said that Venezuela will begin exporting fuel oil to Vietnam by 2015.
Petromacareo is one of six joint ventures between PDVSA and foreign partners that are expected to begin operation in the Orinoco Oil Belt this year. Total production is predicted to reach 1.6 million barrels per day by the end of the year.
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