Venezuelan officials claim their country has oil reserves estimated to be anywhere between five hundred and sixteen hundred billion barrels...
INTERIOR: Maps showing position of Orinoco oil belt. (3 shots)
AERIAL VIEWS: Flying over Orinoco oil belt (3 shots)
GV: Oil pumping derrick PAN DOWN TO workman releasing oil through pressure of steam (4 shots)
CU PAN DOWN: Pump (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM: Armed guard TO pump
GV: Members of press being round oil refinery (3 shots)
SV: Meneven sign on gate and truck entering refinery (2 shots)
GV: Oil storage tanks. (3 shots)
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Background: Venezuelan officials claim their country has oil reserves estimated to be anywhere between five hundred and sixteen hundred billion barrels...more than the total estimated reserves of al the worlds major oil producing nations.
SYNOPSIS: This is Orinoco rive belt...probably the largest untapped oil deposit in the world. The recoverable reserves in this area are expected to be around one half billion Barrels...But, as a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Venezuela is in no hurry to exploit its new found wealth, According to the state oil company, Petroleas De Venezuela, the price of the oil would be about half of that charged by OPEC at the moment...and so they are not willing to undercut their fellow exporters' prices.
The Company involved in the Orinoco belt Pilot Project Meneven, is one of six affiliates of the Nationalised State oil company. This new field is an extension of an area already under intense production. However, there are problems. The oil here is known as heavy oil, it is extremely viscous and contains high levels of Sulphur and heavy metals. It won't simply flow to the surface ground by steam at very high pressures. The Venezuelans hope that this method will give them a recovery rate of around thirty percent, but cautious western oil companies say that it is more likely to around a third of that figure.
The problems don't end once the oil is out of the ground. Because of impurities the oil has to go through a pre-refinery process. This upgrades the oil. But the cost of a refining plant in the producing area is likely to be high....and would appear in the cost per barrel. Despite these problems Venezuela has a lot to encourage it for the future as a major oil producer. The Orinoco belt is about as big as Denmark, that's seventy kilometres (fifty miles) wide and six-hundred and fifty kilometres (four-hundred and fifty miles) long. Conventional Venezuelan Oil is running out but by nineteen eighty the Orinoco field is scheduled to produce more than two-hundred thousands barrels a day.