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Monday, 4 June 2018

PDVSA owes $444 million to Indian counterpart

Por Olivia Rosario Rodríguez

It is the Indian ONGC Videsh Ltd company, considered the second largest oil company in the Asian nation, whose main business is the exploration, development and production of oil and gas assets abroad. Executives of the entity assured that the Venezuelan company PDVSA owes them $444 million dollars of a total debt of 540 million dollars for an investment that the firm made in an energy project in Venezuela.

According to the company's statement, the accumulated debt is due to the non-payment of dividends and dates back more than six months. ONGC Videsh Ltd company, foreign investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, invested 200 million dollars in 2009 in San Cristóbal rural area to obtain a 40 percent stake in the joint venture with the Venezuelan government. In November 2016 there was a meeting between the then president of PDVSA, Eulogio del Pino, with the ONGC representatives in which he promised to pay with crude oil, but it did not materialize.

The information offered by international media indicate that in January of last year, the Russian company Gazprombank gave the payment order of 19.75 million dollars to Venezuela, but, although between January and May 2017 PDVSA disbursed $ 90 million, it hasn’t made paid any debt.

In addition, Indian company also has an 11 percent stake in the ‘Carabobo-1’ project (North and Central), which seeks to increase the quality of heavy oil produced in the Orinoco Belt. That project was expected to produce up to 400,000 barrels per day of oil, but now only about 22,000 bpd are delivered. According to the initial agreement, the payment of dividends to the companies that carry out the project was related to the development of the improver.

In the other hand, Venezuela had offered a discount of up to 30 percent in oil sales to Indian refineries as long as they negotiated in ‘petros’, a Venezuelan cryptocurrency, but India said it had no plans to use it in the oil trade with the South American nation, which is facing US economic and financial penalties.

OVL in Venezuela has a 40 percent stake in the San Cristóbal Project through its ONGC subsidiary Nile Ganga (San Cristóbal) and 37 other oil and gas assets in 17 countries. It also contributes with 4.9 percent and 12.9% of India's oil and natural gas production, respectively.