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PDVSA to increase production to 5 million bpd by 2014: Energy Minister

, 2011

The government plans to increase production at state-owned oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, from the current level of 3.01 million barrels per day (bpd) to 5 million bpd by 2014, Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

“Keeping our quota at 3.01 (million bpd), however, our country continues to create production capacity. The goal is to maintain capacity at 3.5 million (bpd) in 2012 so we can later continue our growth,” Ramirez said in an interview with former Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel on the Televen network Sunday.

“By 2014, we should be around 4.5 (million bpd), 5 million (bpd),” the energy minister said.

Ramirez did not discuss the strategy to be used to increase oil production, but the government is working on a large investment plan for the Orinoco Belt.

Venezuela got certification earlier this year for the Orinoco Belt's oil fields, which contain about 297 billion barrels of crude.

The Orinoco Belt, located in east-central Venezuela, is believed to hold the world's largest petroleum reserves, with most of the oil heavy and extra-heavy crude that is more expensive to refine because it requires additional processing.

Venezuela is the world's 5th-largest oil producer, with output at 3.01 million bpd, according to government figures, while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, estimates daily production at 2.5 million bpd.

The figures differ due to the methodology employed to account for the different types of oil being produced.

Venezuelan crude averaged $100.15 per barrel last week, or $2.58 more than during the previous week.

The highest price for Venezuelan crude this year was the $101.26 per barrel registered at the beginning of March. EFE

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

Story from EFE

EFE / 28 Mar 2011



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