Japan’s Inpex sells off interests in Venezuela: press
Japanese oil company Inpex has sold two of its assets in Venezuela to Caracas-based Sucre Energy Group, the Reuters news service reported August 27.
Citing sources, Reuters reported that Inpex sold off its 70% interest in Gas Guarica, a natural gas partnership with state oil company PDVSA, and its 30% stake in oil joint venture Petroguarico. Terms were not disclosed and the news service was not able to get additional comments from the parties involved in the transaction.
The acquisition by Sucre indicates that domestic Venezuelan companies are moving into the wake of multinational energy companies backing out of the troubled OPEC producer. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is facing increasing international pressure, due in part for political corruption.
The US Justice Department said August 4 that a Florida resident was arrested on charges of bribing Venezuelan officials to secure contracts from its state-owned PDVSA.
Apart from oil, Venezuela has vast natural gas reserves, but uses little of it as the economy relies heavily on hydroelectric power. As such, the country lacks the infrastructure to exploit its own reserves. In terms of investment, Venezuelan gas fields are more attractive because private companies have more of an opportunity to play a role. By law, state-owned PDVSA has a controlling interest in joint ventures dealing with crude oil, but not natural gas.