Gazprom to start drilling for gas in Venezuela

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A Russian floating platform will start to drill exploratory test wells for natural gas in the Gulf of Venezuela on Friday, a Gazprom official said.
CARACAS, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian floating platform will start to drill exploratory test wells for natural gas in the Gulf of Venezuela on Friday, a Gazprom official said.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian energy giant's management committee, said the opening ceremony will be attended by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin as well as representatives of Russian companies.

In 2005, Gazprom won a tender to prospect and develop natural gas blocks Urumaco 1 and Urumaco 2 in the Gulf of Venezuela as part of the Rafael Urdaneta project.

Chavez earlier said that the Gulf of Venezuela boasted natural gas reserves of 100 billion cubic meters. The Venezuelan leader urged other countries to take part in exploration drilling in the territorial waters of Venezuela.

Venezuela's proven natural gas reserves amount to 4.1 trillion cubic meters. The Latin American country holds the second-largest natural gas reserves in the Western Hemisphere after the United States.

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