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Bloomberg: Chevron, Shell, Total May Bid on Venezuelan Gas Field Auction

By Peter Wilson

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp., Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are among 13 companies that bought information packets for Venezuela’s auction later this year of four offshore natural-gas tracts, Petroleos de Venezuela SA said.

The 13 paid $350,000 apiece for the packets as a prelude to possible bidding in the auction, the Caracas-based company said in a press statement today.

Thirty-four companies were initially invited to participate in the auction.

Venezuela expects investment of $172 million during the next four years to develop the four blocks, which may have gas reserves of as much as 11 trillion cubic feet, Petroleos de Venezuela President Rafael Ramirez said earlier this month.

Venezuela has the world’s eighth-largest gas reserves. The country, which traditionally has focused on developing oil reserves, is trying to increase gas production to end a shortage of the fuel.

The country plans to announce the winners of the bidding for the four blocks, known as the Delta Caribe project, on Oct. 28.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Wilson in Caracas at [email protected] .

Last Updated: August 22, 2006 16:45 EDT

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