Exclusive: Venezuela's cash-strapped PDVSA offers Rosneft oil stake - sources

Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:08pm EDT
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By Alexandra Ulmer and Marianna Parraga

CARACAS/HOUSTON (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has offered Russian counterpart Rosneft a stake in a joint venture in the country's Orinoco Belt extra-heavy crude area, five industry sources said, in a sign of the Latin American nation's dire economic situation and Moscow's growing muscle there.

Rosneft (ROSN.MM: Quote), Russia's top oil producer, has been offered a 10 percent stake in the Petropiar joint venture.

PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], as Petróleos de Venezuela SA is known, has a 70 percent share, and U.S. oil company Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote) holds 30 percent of the venture, which includes an oil field and a 210,000 barrel-per-day oil upgrader.

Two sources said the offer was part of a larger package offered to Rosneft as PDVSA seeks to raise money to pay suppliers and bond holders.

It is unclear if Rosneft will accept the offer. Financial details of the potential transaction were not immediately available.

PDVSA and Venezuela's Oil Ministry did not respond to requests for comments. Chevron and Rosneft declined to comment.

A deal would see California-based Chevron working alongside state-owned Rosneft, which has been affected by U.S. sanctions against Russia.

But Chevron's main concern is that accounting and transparency laws are less strict in Russia than in the United States, a source close to the matter said.   Continued...

The logo of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is seen at a gas station in Caracas, Venezuela March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins