24 Sep 2009 16:52

Belarus ends participation in Venezuela's Junin-1 project

MINSK. Sept 24 (Interfax) - Belorusneft has decided to temporarily suspend its participation in a project to develop the Junin-1 oil field in Venezuela, a spokesman for the Belarusian oil company told Interfax.

The company made this decision after an additional analysis of its business plan, he said. "When the project began, oil prices were significantly higher than they are now and will be in the near future," the spokesman said.

"The stoppage in work at the Junin-1 block will in no way impact the activities of the oil joint venture Petrolera BeloVenesolana. We are developing in the current realities like all other companies working in this area, such as Lukoil and Chinese companies. We aren't lagging behind them and are even surpassing them in some areas," the spokesman said.

Petrolera BeloVenesolana was set up in December 2007. The joint venture was set up by Belorusneft and Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA). Belarus has a 40% stake in the company.

The joint venture produced 5,000 barrels of oil per day at the Guaro Estes property in 2008 and sold the oil to PdVSA. The company had planned to double output in 2009 by opening new fields - Lago-Medio and the Junin block. The company had planned to produce 2 million tonnes per year at the new fields in 2009-2010.

The Junin-1 block has oil reserves of about 6 billion tonnes.