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Chevron Joint Venture Launches Oil Drilling Campaign in Venezuela

A joint venture of U.S. supermajor Chevron has launched its 2024 drilling campaign by drilling the first of 17 planned wells as part of a plan to boost production, the other owner of the joint venture, Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA, said in statement on Monday.  

Petroindependencia, the joint venture of PDVSA and Chevron, launched the first new well from this year’s drilling campaign.  

Chevron has U.S. authorization to operate in Venezuela with its joint ventures with PDVSA, while the U.S. Administration also currently allows exports and trade of Venezuelan crude oil under sanctions relief until April 18.  

The well was drilled in February in the Carabobo 2 Block in the Orinoco Belt, PDVSA said. The CMI14 well is the first of 17 wells planned to be drilled in this year’s business plan of the joint venture and is an “important milestone for increasing the production of this joint venture,” the Venezuelan state oil firm said.

Chevron works in partnership with PDVSA affiliates in five onshore and offshore production projects in western and eastern Venezuela, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, says the U.S. supermajor, which has four non-operated joint-venture operations in partnership with PDVSA.

The new wells are expected to increase Chevron’s total output from its joint ventures with PDVSA in Venezuela by 35% to some 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) by next year.

Back in September last year, Reuters reported that Chevron was targeting an increase of 65,000 bpd from its ventures with PDVSA by the end of 2024. At the time, the ventures were producing 135,000 bpd, which was 70% higher than a year earlier.

Despite Nicolas Maduro’s attempts to ban opposition candidates from running in the election in July, the U.S. waiver on Venezuela’s oil exports could be renewed as the Biden Administration is wary of driving crude oil prices – and gasoline prices – higher ahead of the November presidential election, sources with knowledge of the matter told The Wall Street Journal last week.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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