OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Rafael Ramírez, minister of Oil and Mining, emphasized the importance of developing Venezuela’s natural gas industry and replacing important volumes of diesel in national consumption.

The Venezuelan economy, with an energy profile based on proven crude oil reserves of 298 billion barrels (the largest in the world), is looking to diversify in order to exploit the potential of other fuels such as natural gas. Rafael Ramírez, minister of Oil and Mining, emphasized the importance of developing Venezuela’s natural gas industry and replacing important volumes of diesel in national consumption. Data from specialist sources puts Venezuela in eighth position worldwide in regards to the volume of its oil reserves, while the country leads in Latin America. In addition, given the need to free up important quantities of diesel (some 300,000 barrels) which are currently used to generate electricity, exploiting gas is a priority for the government, which is also looking to develop the petrochemical industry. The country’s gas production capacity currently stands at seven billion cubic feet (Tcf) per day, a figure which should reach 7.5 billion in December and 12 billion by 2019. Among the most urgent actions directed by the state owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) is the development of the Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre Project in the north of Paria (state of Sucre) with a daily production objective of 1.2 billion Tcf and 28,000 barrels of natural gas condensates. The project involves drilling 36 wells, the construction two platforms, installation of underwater production systems, a pipeline and export system. The gas will be obtained though the Mariscal Sucre Project which will supply homes directly, eliminating the use of cylinders. The subsequent phase will incorporate other reserves, with the additional element of liquid gases (butane, propane and ethanol) the price of which is close to that of crude oil, creating high expectations for the petrochemical industry. An important factor in the Mariscal Sucre Project, highlighted by Rafael Ramírez, minister of Oil and Mining, is the drilling of the largest well ever in the country, with an output capacity of 80millon Tcf per day. In addition, the Plataforma Deltaza initiative has been designed to extract and liquefy gas from Venezuelan waters near the maritime borders with Trinidad and Tobago. According to predictions, Venezuela could obtain additional revenue from diesel exports, which would then be replaced with the natural gas. In addition to generating electricity and supplying the petrochemical industry, natural gas is also used in crude oil production sustain enhanced oil recovery, along with domestic consumption. (Orbe)