Russian gas major to start drilling in Gulf of Venezuela

November 7th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Caracas (Venezuela), Nov 7 (RIA Novosti) A Russian floating platform will start to drill exploratory test wells for natural gas in the Gulf of Venezuela Friday, Russian gas major Gazprom said. Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom, said the opening ceremony will be attended by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin as well as representatives of Russian companies.

In 2005, Gazprom won a tender to prospect and develop natural gas blocks Urumaco 1 and Urumaco 2 in the Gulf of Venezuela.

Chavez earlier said that the Gulf of Venezuela has natural gas reserves of 100 billion cubic meters.

The Venezuelan leader urged other countries to take part in exploration drilling in the territorial waters of Venezuela.

Venezuela’s proven natural gas reserves amount to 4.1 trillion cubic meters. The Latin American country holds the second largest natural gas reserves in the western hemisphere after the United States.

Russia in recent months have stepped up diplomatic efforts to strengthen its trade and military ties with Latin American countries. It has been negotiating several treaties with Venezuela including cooperation in energy and financial security.

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