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What Next for Repsol and Venezuela?

Bottom Line: After Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramírez announced on 4 December 2013 that Spanish oil and gas company Repsol and the Venezuelan government would be signing an agreement to invest US$1.2 billion in Venezuelan petroleum company Petroquiriquire S.A., on 6 December it was reported that the signing would be delayed until the following week. A source from state-owned oil and gas company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), majority shareholder of Petroquiriquire, referred to the current electoral situation, with municipal elections taking place on 8 December. He indicated that the agreement could be completed shortly afterward, without specifying a date. If the agreement is signed, Venezuela will have contracted almost US$10 billion in oil financing in 2013.

Analysis: Repsol has had contracts in Venezuela since 2000, and in 2009 discovered one of the world’s largest natural gas fields, La Perla. They also hold an 11 percent stake in the Carabobo-1 project, located in Venezuela’s Orinoco belt, which contains a large amount of extra heavy crude. In October 2013, Repsol CEO Antonio Brufau affirmed the company’s commitment to long-term investment in Venezuela. In early November technical manager for crude oil assets Cosme Vargas announced that Repsol would be investing US$4 billion between 2013 and 2022, which will help increase oil output from the 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) presently to almost 100,000 bpd in 2022.

As economic and…

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