| CARACAS, March 22
CARACAS, March 22 Venezuela has ordered output
cuts in several extra-heavy crude Orinoco Belt fields, including
at joint ventures with Russian oil major Rosneft and Italian oil
and gas group Eni, to meet OPEC requirements, three sources told
Reuters on Wednesday.
Crisis-shaken Venezuela was a major advocate of the output
cuts to lift oil prices, but a Reuters survey in February showed
the OPEC nation only complied with 7 percent of its pledged
95,000 bpd cut.
Nicolas Maduro's leftist government is seeking to implement
the promised cuts, which would ease annoyance towards Venezuela
within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries but
could worsen a brutal recession in the shortages-hit country and
irritate some foreign partners.
Joint ventures Petromiranda, which state oil firm PDVSA
operates with Rosneft, as well as
Petrojunin, which it operates with Eni SpA, are
affected, according to the oil industry sources, who asked to
remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about
Petrourica, a joint venture with China National Petroleum
Corp, is also affected, two of the sources added.
The scale and timeframe of the reductions were not
PDVSA, Eni, and Rosneft did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA as it is widely known,
also reduced output in the Orinoco Belt in 2009 as part of the
previous OPEC cuts because most barrels of upgraded or blended
crude from that region are not sold under long-term supply
contracts, which makes it easier to apply changes. Still, it
took years to recover output at the affected projects after the
This time around, OPEC is cutting its output by about 1.2
million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 - the first such deal
since 2008 to get rid of a glut. Non-OPEC countries pledged to
cut about half as much.
While compliance has been strong on the back of a steep
reduction by Saudi Arabia, other members, including Venezuela,
have shown weaker adherence.
(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Additional reporting by Vladimir
Soldatkin in Moscow and Marianna Parraga in Houston; Editing by