PDVSA plans Orinoco drilling, output hike

State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA says it has let contracts for the drilling of 480 wells in a programed aimed at raising production in Venezuela’s Orinoco heavy oil belt by 250,000 b/d.

Investment in the 30-month program, it says, will be $3.2 billion.

“The international companies Schlumberger and Horizontal Well Drillers, as well as Venezuela’ Y&V, were selected after a worldwide tender,” PDVSA said in a statement. “They will have the support and operational expertise of Halliburton and Baker Hughes for specific project activities; 18 drilling rigs will be available.”

Horizontal Well Drillers, Purcell, Okla., confirmed it has a contract to drill as many as 191 shallow, horizontal wells in the Orinoco belt.

The company said Schlumberger’s contract is for 80 wells, and Y&V Group’s is for 100 wells.

PDVSA said the participating companies will provide $700 million of financing.

The company’s joint ventures with international companies—PetroVictoria, PetroCarabobo, and Petroindependencia—will participate in the program, it said.

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