CARACAS -- Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez authorized a PDVSA project to enlarge a state oil company PDVSA project in Zulia, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Sunday.
Oil "Minister Rafael Ramirez said that Chavez had approved terms and conditions to annex areas to the joint venture Petrocabimas, including annexing Tia Juana Tierra and exploratory areas Cabimas East and Cabimas South, among other issues," said Maduro.
Maduro was speaking at a nationally televised speech in eastern state of Sucre, commemorating the 218 anniversary of the birth of independence hero Antonio Jose de Sucre. Maduro said that after analyzing the issue for several days, "Commander Chavez passed this project to strengthen PDVSA."
Maduro held up a document signed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and brought back to Venezuela by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, who came back early morning on Sunday.
"Fortunately, we are working, our President is governing and with him we are a revolution in the political power," Maduro stated.
Chavez has not been seen or heard from by the public since he went to Cuba for his fourth cancer surgery on December 10.
Corporación Venezolana del Petróleo (CVP), a subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela S.A (PDVSA), and Suelopetrol signed the conversion contract setting up the Petrocabimas S.A. joint venture in 2006. Prior to agreeing to a reduced 40% share under the Chavez government's new rules in 2006, Suelopetrol had been the 100% owner of the operator of the Cabimas field. Suelopetrol was formed in 1984 by a group of Venezuelans to provide services to the oil industry and now operates in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and the U.S.
The PetroCabimas joint venture was set up to operate the Cabimas field, located in the Cabimas municipality, in the Zulia State, whose production totals 6,000 barrels per day with a gravity of 22 API + 10 MM cfpd (7,800 BOED) , from almost 166 active wells.