A delegation from Gazprom, led by head of the company's International Business Department Stanislav Tsygankov, has visited Venezuela to discuss drilling at the Uramaco 1 block offshore Venezuela
Gazprom and state-run company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) discussed the status of drilling works at Urumaco 1 Block, a package of proposals for increasing the economic efficiency of the Rafael Urdaneta project and the current status of the Blankilla Este y Tortuga and Ayacucho-3 projects.
Within the visit a meeting of the member companies of the Blankilla Este y Tortuga project took place, at which Gazprom produced provisional estimates of hydrocarbon reserves at these blocks. The meeting participants confirmed their interest in the project and will prepare an agreement for further development and identify a project operator in March.
In August 2005, Gazprom was proclaimed the winner of a tender for Phase A of the Rafael Urdaneta project and was awarded the relevant licenses for natural gas exploration and development at the Urumaco 1 and Urumaco 2 blocks in the Gulf of Venezuela. In accordance with the bidding rules for Urumaco 1 and Urumaco 2, Gazprom set up two joint-stock companies UrdanetaGazprom - 1, S.A. and UrdanetaGazprom - 2, S.A.
At the moment, stage two of the project's geological exploration is in progress, stipulating drilling one exploratory well at each block. Drilling at Urumaco 1 Block began in November 2008.
In September 2008 Gazprom and PDVSA signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Blanquilla Este y Tortuga project, embracing natural gas exploration and production offshore Venezuela, its supply to the domestic market and liquefaction and export of the gas.