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August 30, 2021

Inpex divest oil and gas assets in Venezuela to Sucre Energy

Sucre has acquired a 70% stake in the Gas Guarico partnership with PDVSA and 30% in the Petroguarico oil JV.

By Archana Rani

Japanese oil company Inpex has reportedly divested two oil and gas assets in Venezuela to local company Sucre Energy Group.

The assets divested to Sucre include a 70% stake in the Gas Guarico natural gas partnership with state-owned oil company PDVSA, Reuters reported citing three people familiar with the transaction.

The Gas Guarico has a production capacity of around 50 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

Sucre Energy Group also purchase a stake of 30% in the Petroguarico oil joint venture (JV), the people said.

The acquisition is a part of the Venezuelan exploration and production firm’s effort to improve mature fields in Latin America.

The firm anticipates rebounds in petrochemical, power and heavy industry sectors in the country following economic collapse for a half-decade, one of the people said.

Sucre expects the country to emerge as a gas supplier in the longer-term, to neighbours Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The acquisition by Sucre marks increasing participation by the local firms, filling the void in the country’s oil sector and beyond.

In an effort to help attract investment in the sector amid sanctions, the Venezuelan government is scaling back restrictions on the private sector, reported the news agency.

The sale comes as Inpex seeks to retreat from the crisis-stricken country, which is claimed to host some of the world’s largest crude reserves.

Amid hyperinflation and corruption in the country and US sanctions on PDVSA, France’s TotalEnergies and Norway’s Equinor have exited their Petrocedeno joint venture with PDVSA, earlier this year.

The two firms, however, retained their stakes in the country’s gas fields.

In June, a consortium of Japanese companies including Inpex also exited the Petroindependencia joint venture with PDVSA.

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