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Image courtesy of Schlumberger.

Schlumberger was one of three firms selected to participate in a new multi-billion drilling campaign being conducted Venezuela’s PDVSA.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Schlumberger won a contract from the state-owned oil firm to drill 80 wells in the Orinoco Belt.

Schlumberger told Reuters that the terms of the deal “including the collections assurance mechanism are still under negotiation.”

The contract is part of a $3.2 billion drilling campaign being conducted in the onshore play.

The award is part of plan to drill 480 wells in the Orinoco Belt that aim to add 250,000 barrels per day of production in 30 months, according to PDVSA.

PDVSA is contracting integrated services for platform construction, drilling, completion and connection of wells for joint ventures Petrocarabobo, Petrovictoria and Petroindependencia located in the belt.

Schlumberger, Oklahoma-based Horizontal Well Drillers and Venezuela’s Y&V were selected to drill the wells after a worldwide tender, PDVSA said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the remaining 400 well tenders will be about equally divided between Horizontal Well and Y&V.

The firms will be provided with support and operational expertise from Halliburton and Baker Hughes for specific project activities and 18 drilling rigs will be available.

The deal comes about six months after Schlumberger said it would reduce activity levels in Venezuela following missing payments from PDVSA.

Schlumberger said at the time that the reduction was due to “insufficient payments received in recent quarters and a lack of progress in establishing new mechanisms that address past and future accounts receivable.”
Schlumberger added that it remained “fully committed to supporting the Venezuelan exploration and production industry.”
In a statement, PDVSA “categorically” denied media reports about Schlumberger’s decision.