The two European companies want to resume work on the Kardon 4 project, which they jointly run, at “full capacity”, which amounts to 1.3 billion cubic feet, according to Telecia. The project is currently pumping 580 million cubic feet of natural gas to meet domestic and industrial demand in Venezuela.
The press office of Repsol and Eni did not respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
Telicia, a military officer and engineer, was appointed minister of Venezuela’s oil industry last March, after a thorough anti-corruption investigation into missing billions in revenue and defective contracts ousted his predecessor, Tarek El Aissami, a close ally of President Nicolas Maduro.
Telecia previously headed a petrochemical subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, and became president of the parent company in early January, replacing Asdrubal Chávez, a cousin of the late President Hugo Chávez.
Venezuela allows Eni and Repsol to export gas condensate from a joint venture
On the other hand, “Telecia” said that the Ministry of Oil is working closely with officials of the Chinese company “China National Petroleum” (CNPC) to resume work on a line of credit between the two sides, which would remove the middlemen and allow them to ship crude directly. A local press office for the Chinese company did not respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
China National Petroleum is a major producer in Venezuela’s Orinoco Belt, and output from its joint venture Sinofensa fell to 90,000 barrels per day in early April, according to Petroleos de Venezuela data seen by Bloomberg.