PDVSA Announces 2001-2006 Investment Plan

Monday, February 26, 2001

Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA plans to invest US$45bn between 2001 and 2006, of which some 47% will come from the company's own funds and 53% from partnerships with private companies, the company announced.

In exploration and production, PDVSA plans to increase light and medium oil reserves, as well as improve recovery rates through offshore exploration and a seismic studies program for the first three years. PDVSA plans to reach total production, including private participation in Venezuela, of 5.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2006 from 4.1 million bpd.

PDVSA also plans to invest US$2.6bn to improve its oil refining system and have it comply with stricter environmental and product quality standards. Projects include the expansion of cokers at the Paraguana refining complex and the use of "Aquaconversion" technology at the Isla refinery. For gasoline production, the company plans to build a naphtha hydrotreatment unit at Puerto La Cruz, a new "Isal" technology unit in Paraguana, the expansion of alkylation units at Amuay and Cardon, and a catalytic cracking unit at El Palito.

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In addition, the company plans to strengthen its Latin American and Caribbean position by building more service stations, and selling its own lubricants and jet fuel brands.

In natural gas, PDVSA plans to promote private investment in the non-associated productive sector. Exploration works will take place in the Anaco district, block E, Maracaibo Lake's Southern block, the Orinoco Delta's platform and other traditional areas.

Other projects include start-up operations at the Accro III and IV gas processing plants, the Ule cryogenic unit and an ethane production unit for a olefins and derivatives plant. PDVSA also plans to create companies with private partners for natural gas transport in the country. The company also plans to launch the GNL de Venezuela, GNL Jose and a Gas-to-Liquids plant projects.

In the petrochemical sector, PDVSA plans to invest US$4.7bn, of which 22% will be furnished by its petrochemical subsidiary Pequiven. The company aims to increase petrochemical product production by 60%.

Finally, PDVSA plans to strengthen Venezuela's own capital markets through associations with local companies.