A Japanese-owned Inpex Corp. sold its Venezuelan assets to Sucre Energy Group, based in Caracas. The new developments came as a string of multinational companies back from the crisis-hit OPEC nation.
According to three people familiar with the deal, the Japanese company sold two Venezuelan gas and oil to Sucre, a privately-owned production and exploration firm that focuses on improving mature gas and oil fields in Latin America.
The sources revealed Sucre had purchase up to 70% of the Inpex's stake in the Gas Guarico gas partnership with PDVSA (PDVSA.UL), a state-owned oil company. Sucre and PDVSA also purchased 30% of Inpex's stake in their Petroguarico joint venture.
Inpex is the latest foreign company in the list of companies abandoning the once-promising assets in Venezuela due to corruption, hyperinflation, and the US sanctions that have plagued the OPEC nation.
In the past few weeks, Norway's Equinor ASA and France's TotalEnergies quit their Petrocedeno partnership with PDVSA due to the high carbon intensity resulting from the extra-heavy crude project.
However, the two companies still retained their stake in the Venezuelan gas fields.
According to Reuters's June report, Inpex and other Japanese companies quit their 5% stake in their Petroindependencia partnership with PDVSA.
Sucre is one of the Venezuelan companies filling the voids left by multinational companies as the government intervenes by scaling up the economy and reducing restrictions.
The easing of restrictions has allowed private companies to own larger stakes in the oil and gas fields and made the Venezuelan gas venture more attractive.
Sucre was greatly interested in the Gas Guarico gas fields, which produces up to 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, but also purchased a stake at Petroguarico, as part of the deal, the people told Reuters.
Venezuela is one of the countries with the largest gas reserves in the world and very limited resources to processes the large gas reserves, the private company's venture into the gas fields sparks new hope for a rebound in the Venezuelan power, petrochemical, and heavy industries, providing a source of gas for the rapidly growing demand.
The country could supply its gas to the neighbouring Trinidad, Colombia, and Tobago in the long-term said one of the sources.