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Regional News

June 27, 2005
Plataforma Deltana Update
O&G Journal

Venezuela gas find boosts Chevron LNG plans

ChevronTexaco Global Technology Services has made a significant natural gas discovery off Venezuela that it says advances its plan to evaluate Venezuela's first LNG project.

The Macuira 1X exploration well - Chevron's first on Plataforma Deltana Block 3 -encountered six gas intervals with total gross thickness of 140 m. It tested 51 MMscfd with restriction from two of the intervals, reported parent Chevron Corp.

Macuira 1X, which lies in 116 m of water 121 km off northeastern Venezuela, is on trend with and 24 km southeast of Loran gas field on adjacent Block 2, where the company drilled successful exploration wells in 2004 (OGJ Online, Dec. 13, 2004). Macuira 1X confirms that the prolific Columbus gas basin extends farther into Venezuelan waters and provides additional follow-up potential on the block, said Chevron.

"Plataforma Deltana appears to now have the resources needed for a detailed evaluation of Venezuela's first LNG train," said Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Latin America Upstream. "With final endorsement of the evaluation program, this will provide the blueprint for Chevron to proceed aggressively with Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and its partners in the region to make Venezuela's Plataforma Deltana LNG a reality by the end of this decade." Chevron owns 100% of and operates Block 3. PDVSA has an option to back into the block for as much as 35% upon declaration of commerciality.

Suspension off Venezuela slows unitization

A decision by Statoil ASA to suspend drilling on Block 4 off Venezuela will slow moves to unitize the block with BP Trinidad & Tobago LLC-Repsol YPF SA Block 5B, according to Shelagh de Osuna, ambassador and the head of Trinidad and Tobago’s negotiating team.

Statoil suspended drilling of the Ballena 1-X well on Block 4 in the Plataforma Deltana area off Venezuela, saying technical standard of Transocean Inc.’s Sovereign Explorer semisubmersible failed to meet its requirements for safe drilling in high-pressure reservoirs (OGJ, June 13, 2005, Newsletter).

Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have been negotiating the unitization of three blocks along their border. It is believed that the blocks have combined reserves of 15-20 tcf of gas, 12 tcf of which is already proved.

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