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Business news

5 Oct 2017

Call for more investment to develop Belarusian-Venezuelan oil, gas venture

MINSK, 5 October (BelTA) – Additional investments are required to further develop the Belarusian-Venezuelan oil and gas extraction joint venture Petrolera BeloVenezolana, BelTA learned from Alexander Lyakhov, Director General of the Belarusian industrial group Belorusneft.

The executive said: “There are plans to discuss future operation, including a roadmap to guide the operation of the enterprise, which was established ten years ago together with the Venezuelan state company PDVSA to extract oil. Our share in the enterprise is 40%. The company works but since Venezuela is now experiencing certain problems with foreign currency and the investment rating is very low, the joint venture could use more financing. Respectively, in order to continue operation, both sides need to invest. But the operation of the enterprise by itself can attract financing, provided it is done right.”

Asked to specify the form of financing, Alexander Lyakhov said: “I am not ready to talk about it yet. It is likely the Venezuelan side will come up with a proposal bearing in mind their financial sector situation.”

The executive specified that Petrolera BeloVenezolana extracts about 1 million tonnes of oil per annum but the figure is a bit lower than that right now — some 700,000 tonnes. All the oil the company extracts is sold by PDVSA Company on the international market.

“I believe the company is an interesting project. It extracts oil and has been working for ten years. It already has mature specialists. If the financial, economic, and technological life of the company is properly tuned, it will have a good future,” believes Alexander Lyakhov.

In his words, Belarus has earned about $70 million thanks to the joint venture’s operation.

The Belarusian-Venezuelan oil and natural gas extraction company Petrolera BeloVenezolana has been working in Venezuela since 2007. The joint venture operates seven oil fields and six natural gas fields. Four of them are located in western Venezuela on Lake Maracaibo. The other ones are located in eastern Venezuela on the ground. In 2008-2016 Petrolera BeloVenezolana extracted over 8.4 million tonnes of oil and 6.4 billion m3 of natural gas. Since 2009 Petrolera BeloVenezolana has been working with Belorusneft’s oil industry research institute BelNIPIneft. Belorusneft’s strategic goal in the region is to improve the effectiveness of extraction of oil and natural gas by assimilating new extraction techniques and by wisely selecting production enhancement operations.


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