In June 2009, Gazprom Neft purchased 20% of the National Oil Consortium (NOC), an entity created by five large Russian oil companies to pursue oil production projects in Latin America. The companies are: OJSC Gazprom Neft, OJSC NK Rosneft, OJSC NK LUKOIL, OJSC TNK-BP Holding, and OJSC Surgutneftegaz — with equal stakes. In September 2009, the Government of the Russian Federation along with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela signed an intergovernmental treaty for cooperation on implementing mutual strategic projects.
Under the treaty, in the Spring of 2010, NOC and Corporation Venezolana del Petroleo (CVP), a subsidiary of the Venezuelan government-owned oil company (PDVSA), established a joint venture, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PetroMiranda), for additional exploration and development of the Junin heavy-oil field in the Orinoco River basin in Venezuela. Recoverable reserves at Junin-6 are estimated at 10.96 billion barrels of oil. Block area — 447.85 km2 14 wells have been drilled at the Junin-6 territory to date.
As required by Venezuelan law, 60% of PetroMiranda is held by the PDVSA subsidiary, CVP, and 40% by NOC. NOC has paid the first part of a USD 600 million bonus to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for the right to become a member of the joint venture.
The Board of Directors of NOC has designated OJSC Gazprom Neft as the consortium leader, with responsibility for coordinating operations and managing the Junin-6 project for the period through the end of 2012.
As the project leader, Gazprom Neft holds a coordinating role on behalf of the Russian party in the Russian-Venezuelan joint venture, PetroMiranda. The project leader functions as the technical expert on the project and issues directives to the Directors of the joint venture (on the Russian side) regarding project implementation.
NOC member companies have approved the Early Production project, while all the current obligations of NOC to finance the joint venture (in the amount of USD 18.2 million) have been fully met.
- 5 cluster sites for stratigraphic wells arranged; first stratigraphic well completed.
- 2 exploratory wells, 2 multilateral down-holes and 2 horizontal wells bored.
- As part of the Early Production project, the first operational horizontal well was constructed, with a test-mode oil influx of more than 200 tonnes per day. In October, the well was put into routine operation with a yield of 600 barrels per day.
- Concept design for upgrades completed, basic engineering works are in progress, with involvement by SUPSA Company.
- Well construction permits obtained.
- alternating the program timing (for programs associated with drilling, seismic survey, PVT-studies and core survey);
- incorporating well testing programs, core and fluids survey into the contract;
- scheduling pilot surveys on 2D-seismic exploration and electrical prospecting;
- thermal techniques testing.