Oil production at Repsol's Venezuela joint ventures to double, CEO says

Oil production at Repsol's REP Venezuela joint ventures with state company PDVSA is expected to double after a recent agreement to expand areas assigned to the projects, the Spanish oil company's Chief Executive Josu Jon Imaz said on Thursday.

"This agreement incorporates two new fields (...) currently producing 20,000 barrels a day," Imaz told analysts in a call to discuss first-quarter results.

"So that means that we are, thanks to this agreement, doubling the current production of Petroquiriquire" which currently stands at 20,000 barrels a day (bpd), he added, referring to one of the company's joint ventures with PDVSA.

The Petroquiriquire joint venture, in which PDVSA has a 60% interest and Repsol the remaining 40%, operates in several areas of the country, including the prolific Monagas North region.

With the agreement, which was approved by Venezuela's National Assembly earlier this month, "we are improving Repsol's position in oil production in Venezuela, first of all, allowing us to recover a past commercial debt thanks to this new production in the oil field," Imaz said.

Under a U.S.-authorised swap agreement with PDVSA that Repsol expects to continue, the Spanish company has in recent years recovered pending debt and dividends in Venezuela by taking and refining Venezuelan crude. The pact also includes Repsol's supply of fuel to Venezuela.

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