Venezuela’s PDVSA Doubles Natural Gas Production

CARACAS -- The natural gas subsidiary of Venezuelan state energy company PDVSA said its daily output has doubled over the past decade from 742 million cubic feet to 1.56 billion cubic feet, according to an official report released Friday.

The increase in output by Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. Gas (PDVSA Gas) was achieved as part of a plan by President Hugo Chavez's socialist government to "increase natural gas consumption to support petrochemical development and improve people's quality of life."

According to the report, the
state-owned gas company obtained "total revenues of $22.43 billion
between 1998 and 2008," with net earnings of "6.3 billion." PDVSA Gas
invested some $1.85 billion and paid an accumulated "3.53 billion" into
government coffers during that period.

"That shows that PDVSA's
financial situation, despite the current distortions in the world
hydrocarbons market, remains solid," the official report read.

has the world's eighth-largest natural gas reserves, estimated at 180
trillion cubic feet, and is the world's fifth-leading oil exporter.