13 Sep 2009

Big gas field found off Venezuela

8:02 am on 13 September 2009

Spanish energy company Repsol has found a massive field of gas off the coast of Venezuela.

President Hugo Chavez, who is visiting Spain, says he expects Venezuela to become one of the five biggest gas producers in the world.

The BBC reports the find is estimated at 7-8 trillion cubic feet, about five times what Spain uses in a year. It was made at an offshore site called Cardon 4 in the Gulf of Venezuela by an exploration consortium with Eni, an Italian energy company.

President Hugo Chavez announced the find while in Spain during a tour of Europe and Asia.

He said development of the field would put Venezuela - which already has the largest proven oil reserves outside the Middle East - among the world's top five gas producers.

Repsol said further tests were underway to confirm provisional estimates of its volume.

Repsol said that once development of the field was under way, profits from the venture would be split three ways, with Repsol and Eni taking 32.5% each and Venezuela's state company PDVSA taking 35%.