UPDATE 1-Venezuela wants oil firm Harvest out, if can find deep-pocketed buyer
(Adds details on reserves, forex system)
By Andrew Cawthorne
ORINOCO OIL BELT, Venezuela, April 20 (Reuters) - Venezuela would prefer oil company Harvest Natural Resources Inc to leave the OPEC nation, but wants it to sell a project stake to a company with financial muscle to make major investments, state oil company PDVSA said.
Harvest has been seeking to sell its stake in joint venture Petrodelta following years complaining that PDVSA is not allowing it to collect dividends. Venezuela has blocked two proposals to sell that stake to other companies.
The buyer of Harvest's stake should be willing to pay a bonus to the government and put in roughly $600 million over five years to boost Petrodelta output from 40,000 barrels per day to 100,000 bpd, PDVSA President Eulogio Del Pino said.
"Harvest is an example of the partner who does not have the capability. They only want to get the dividend, not invest," he said during a trip in recent days with reporters to the Orinoco Belt.
"But we require the partner to have the capability to finance. We require financing and a bonus to the government," he added, emphasizing that any such bonus would be for new reserves identified in the Petrodelta area that were not discovered when the joint venture was first established.
A new advantageous foreign exchange rate system in Venezuela may drive down an initially required $1.2 billion in estimated investment to around $600 million, Del Pino added.
PDVSA's joint venture partners are now able to access a third tier of Venezuela's complex current controls, called Simadi and set up in February, which enables them to obtain more bolivars for each dollar invested. Continuación...