CARACAS: Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay began exploratory drilling in the Ayacucho 6 tract, part of a move by Venezuela to develop its Faja heavy-oil region through joint ventures with state-run companies rather than private foreign companies.
“No one should be bothered by the integration of our countries,” Argentine President Nestor Kirchner said in a televised speech from the tract in Anzoategui state.
A joint venture of state oil companies Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Argentina’s Enarsa SA and Uruguay’s Ancap will develop the tract, one of 27 undeveloped blocks in the Faja region.
Venezuela has formed similar ventures with the state oil companies of Iran, Cuba, China, Belarus, Vietnam, India, Brazil, Russia and Malaysia to develop Faja fields.
Petroleos de Venezuela, South America’s largest oil producer, seeks to take control by 1 May of at least 60% of four Faja heavy-oil joint ventures currently controlled by companies such as Exxon Mobil Corporation and BP. The four projects turn tar-like oil into about 600,000 barrels of synthetic oil a day.