Venezuela opens new heavy crude pipeline

Venezuela inaugurated a major pipeline to transport heavy crude from the prolific Orinoco oil belt in the north of the country to nearby processing facilities. The 25 km long pipeline consists of two lines, one 8 inch in diameter that will transport diluting agent to the Junin-5 field, and another 12 inch pipeline to transport diluted heavy oil to the facilities of state-owned oil company PDVSA for processing. This is the first pipeline from the Junin-5 field for which Italian oil major Eni and PDVSA signed a deal to develop in 2010. The innauguration took place in the presence of Venezuela’s Minister of Petroleum and president of PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez and a delegation of senior Eni officials led by CEO Paolo Scaroni. Under the joint venture, the Junin-5 field is currently producing 2,300 bpd and is expected to reach 2,800 bpd by year-end with a target of 240,000 bpd by 2017. Junin-5, which is estimated to hold some 35 million barrels of oil equivalent, is managed by two joint ventures (Empresa Mixta), both formed by PDVSA (60 per cent) and Eni (40 per cent): PetroJun