With its extensive yet challenging reserves of extra-heavy oil, Venezuela is potentially the largest oil province in the world. To realise this untapped potential in the midst of deep Venezuelan forests or beneath the ocean floor, we have spent two decades refining our engineering capabilities and exploring new opportunities here.

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0 Statoil established in Venezuela

How to find us in Venezuela

A nation of opportunities

To grow our upstream activities outside of our traditional area of offshore production, we are seeking opportunities in various new environments. This includes developing extra-heavy crude oil, which accounts for around 20 percent of the world’s petroleum resources and is expected to become an increasingly important part of the global energy mix.

The Orinoco Belt area in Venezuela holds the greatest accumulation of extra-heavy crude oil reserves, alongside the Alberta oil sands in Canada. We hold an interest in Petrocedeño, which is the country's largest and most advanced extra-heavy crude oil project. To further expand our long term presence in Venezuela, we are also pursuing new business opportunities within extra-heavy oil and gas value chains.

However, due to technically challenging and costly operations, only a small portion of Venezuela’s extra-heavy oil reserves are currently being recovered. In order to reach our goal of increasing production with lower costs and emissions, we plan to use our extensive expertise within the area of heavy oil recovery to find new and innovative solutions with our partners. 

Operations in Venezuela

Statoil has had a presence in Venezuela since 1994 and we have long-term commitments to projects here.

our operations in Venezuela

The Petrocedeño agreement has a duration of 25 years starting in 2008, where PDVSA holds 60%, Total 30.33% and Statoil 9.67%.

Total investments for Petrocedeño were approximately USD 5 billion, representing the largest single private investment in this sector.

The upgrading plant is designed to process about 2.53 billion barrels of extra-heavy crude into some 2.25 billion barrels of syncrude during its 35 years of operation.

We continue to support Petrocedeño in improving HSE standards, helping to support and implement an HSE culture programme and working to improve the technical conditions of the upgrader.

The Petrocedeño heavy oil project is a strategic association, originally named Sincor, formed by state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Total and Statoil. Petrocedeño initially aimed to improve the recovery of extra-heavy crude oil from the Orinoco Belt area and transform it into a higher quality syncrude than the Brent Blend reference crude. This product, known as Zuata Sweet, has about 32° API, with very low sulphur content and no residue.

The project’s upgrading plant is located at Jose Complex in eastern Venezuela. On a daily basis, the design capacity is close to 200,000 extra-heavy oil barrels, which give approximately 180,000 barrels of high-quality syncrude (30-32 API). In addition, 6,000 tons of coke and 900 tons of sulphur are produced as by-products and sold on the world market.

In addition to our partners’ work to enhance production quantity and quality, we are continuously developing concepts and technologies to access and recover extra-heavy oil from more challenging reservoirs in a manner that is consistent with our focus on sustainable development.

In the offshore area, we hold 51% of the exploration licence for Cocuina, in Plataforma Deltana block 4. The drilling phase was completed in October 2007 and an End of Evaluation Report was approved by the authorities in August 2009, after which the authorities from Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago entered in a process of unitisation for the Cocuina-Manakin reservoir. In February 2015, a Unitisation Agreement was executed by the two governments and currently, we are in dialogue with the operator of the field in Trinidad & Tobago side to agree on a Sole Operator Agreement. 

A responsible partner for Venezuela

Alongside the development of our core business in Venezuela, we have also developed a comprehensive portfolio of social responsibility projects in education, environment, HIV/AIDS prevention, local community development and technology transfer.