Chavez to sign LNG deal

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Shell and Mitsubishi will sign a contract to build and operate the USD 2.5 billion liquified natural gas facility on the Paria peninsula. In the project, the Shell group will have 30% and Mitsubishi Corp. will have 8%. State oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela SA will retain 60% of the deal while some 2% could be issued on the local stock exchange. Part of the 60% to be held by PdVSA, as the state oil company is known, may yet be awarded to Qatar, which has expressed its interest to participate in the project, Deputy Oil Minister Bernardo Alvarez said. The Paria LNG project is critical to launching Venezuela as a major gas producer and exporter. It will also allow the development of stranded gas fields south of Trinidad on the Orinoco Delta platform.

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