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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Finds Gas in Venezuela

CARACAS — Gazprom discovered “a big accumulation” of gas off Venezuela’s northwest coast, marking what may be the second major find in the area in two months, the country’s oil and energy minister said.

Gazprom was “authorized under their license to drill another well and this has confirmed a big accumulation of gas,” Rafael Ramirez said Tuesday.

Venezuela, which has the biggest gas reserves in South America, is seeking to boost output of the fuel to overcome a domestic supply deficit, bolster chemicals production and reduce consumption of exportable fuels such as diesel.

The country is awaiting results from drilling by Inpex and additional tests to decide how to develop the gas reserves, Ramirez said. The priority will be domestic use, including chemicals and power plants, though output from the fields may also be exported via a pipeline crossing into Colombia, he said.