CABRUTICA, Venezuela, July 27 Venezuela's state
oil company PDVSA and a consortium of Russian companies expect
to present in September a joint-venture to develop a block in
the Orinoco oil belt, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said on
"We'll be ready from September to start work (on the
project)," said Ramirez, who accompanied Russia's deputy prime
minister Igor Sechin on a visit to the Orinoco belt.
A formal contract to jointly develop the Junin 6 block with
an estimated production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day
would be signed before the end of the year, Ramirez said.
The Russian consortium includes Rosneft (ROSN.MM), Gazprom
(GAZP.MM), Lukoil (LKOH.MM), TNK-BP and Surgutneftegaz. It also
intends to bid for blocks in the Carabobo Project, for which
the tender was delayed again on Monday [nN2790493].
Russia and Venezuela, who share their critical view of the
United States, have signed a series of energy and military
Various Russian companies are already present in the
Orinoco belt, which Venezuela says boasts the largest
hydrocarbon reserves in the world. But the extra-heavy crude
oil from the Orinoco has to be processed before it can be
(Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Enrique Andres Pretel;
Translating by Raymond Colitt; Editing by Christian Wiessner)