Repsol-ONGC consortium secures big oilfield in Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela: India's energy giant, the Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has won a joint bid to develop a crude oil block in Venezuela's Orinoco Belt as part of a consortium with Spain's Repsol and Malaysia's Petronas. Indian Oil Corp and Oil India Ltd, are other minor stakeholders in the block.

Orinoco Belt - Image: Conoco Phillips
ONGC will develop the Carabobo block 1 with Spain's Repsol YPF SA, Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Indian Oil Corp. and Oil India Ltd., Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez said in Caracas today when he announced the winning bids at a ceremony in the presidential palace.

Carabobo block 1 is a vast area that holds an estimated 235 billion barrels of reserves of heavy and ultra-heavy oil.

The consortium offered state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) a 1.05-billion-dollar loan and a bond of the same amount.

Chevron was awarded Carabobo block 3, with Japan's Impex and Mistubishi alongside Venezuelan firm Suelopetrol, Ramirez said. The Chevron consortium offered PDVSA a billion-dollar loan, and will pay a bond of 500 million dollars.

Block 2 was not awarded and could be on offer "during another procedure," Ramirez said.