Little-Known Driller Dives Into Perilous Venezuelan Oil Market

14 Aug 2017   Venezuela

Two weeks before he held a vote to set up an assembly to re-write the constitution—further undermining democracy—Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hosted the signing of a contract with a small U.S. company for drilling of oil wells in the country that has the world’s largest proved crude oil reserves. Maduro welcomed Todd Swanson, the president of Purcell, Oklahoma-based Horizontal Well Drillers, to the presidential palace on July 15, and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the little-known U.S. company to explore opportunities and possibly create a joint venture to drill about 200 new wells in the Orinoco Oil Belt. Last September, PDVSA said that it had awarded US$3.2 billion worth of contracts to drill in the Orinoco Belt. The contracts, PDVSA said back then, would add 250,000 bpd within 30 months from about 480 wells to be drilled. Schlumberger, Horizontal Well Drillers, and Venezuela’s Y&V Group won contracts […]

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