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Venezuelan president promises $18 bln of gas investment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his government will spend $18 billion over next five years to satisfy internal natural gas demand as part of the so-called Gas Revolution Project.

Speaking from the San Joaquin Anaco Gas Project located in the northeastern Venezuela state of Anzoategui, Chavez said it was vital to diversify natural gas in the nation’s development. “With the natural gas plan and the Sowing Petroleum plan, we expect to double our reserves and become a world energy power,” he said. He added that Venezuela would raise gas production from the current eight billion cubic feet to 11 billion in 2012. He said Venezuela plans to develop natural gas for vehicles, petrochemicals and thermoelectric power using natural gas.

The Anaco project, which is 55% ready, aims to increase natural gas and crude oil production in the region. At present the area produces 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day and 30,000 barrels of light crude. The country’s current reserves of gas amounts to 180 trillion cubic feet with 150 trillion on land and the rest offshore, which is equivalent to 80% of South America’s total. (