Venezuela awarded natural gas exploration rights for two areas in the Gulf of Venezuela
to Italian energy company ENI SpA (E)
, Spanish-Argentine firm Repsol YPF, Brazil's Petrobras and Japan's Teikoku Oil Co., according to a NewsFromRussia report.
ENI and Repsol combined to offer a winning bid on one area of $34.4 million, while Petrobras and Teikoku won rights to another area with a bid of $19.5 million. Rights to a third area were awarded to Venezuela-based Vinccler Oil and Gas, which offered a bid of just under $7.4 million, according to the report.
The offshore natural gas project involves 29 areas spanning 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles) in the Gulf of Venezuela. The area's reserves have yet to be proven, but they are estimated at some 24 billion cubic ft. (720 million cubic m).
The South American country has sold a total of six licenses to explore for and extract natural gas off the western city of Maracaibo, including two in September to Russian oil firm OAO Gazprom and Chevron Corp. In the six offshore zones, Venezuela expects
the companies to invest nearly $200 million during the next four years.