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The Pdvsa 2004-2009 business plan estimates investments nearing 37 billion $, which represent 35% of the total of about 110 billion $ required by the oil and gas sector in Latin America, said Pdvsa director Nelson Martínez, in the tenth Annual Latin Oil and Gas Conference held in Rio De Janeiro last Monday and Tuesday.

Before an audience of 80 representatives of companies from 15 different countries, Martínez exposed the strengths that show Pdvsa’s sustainability, emphasizing Venezuela’s efforts for energy integration and sustainable development to contribute to the improvement of the living standards of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Let us take into consideration that at the current rate of production, Venezuela has oil reserves for more than 285 years, while in the rest of the region, except for Mexico, the reserves are estimated for only 8 years” asserted Martínez.

The high oil executive also referred to Venezuela’s proposal concerning PetroCaribe, PetroSur and PetroAndina in the context of the initiative for the creation of PetroAmerica, with the purpose of integrating the efforts of state companies in areas such as development of infrastructure, joint refining, and coordination of hydrocarbon supply in the region, as a means to lower energy costs and support regional integration based on cooperation and solidarity. Taking several predictions available as reference, Martínez explained that although alternate energy sources will gradually become more important, they will only satisfy a small fraction of the demand, since fossil fuel will represent 90% of the total energy requirement in the next two decades.

The world demand for oil will increase at a pace of 2% per year, i.e., from 81 million barrels per day in 2003 to 112 million barrels per day in 2025. Moreover, natural gas consumption will increase by twofold in the same period, from 90 to 176 billion cubic feet per year.

In the case of Latin America, a sharp 2% yearly increase of the oil demand until 2025, from 7.5 to 11 million barrels per day, is expected. Likewise, natural gas consumption in the region is expected to rise at a surprising annual 5% annual average, from 15 to 43 billion cubic feet per day.

Martinez pointed out that “In this context, Venezuela is and will be one of the most important world international hydrocarbon suppliers, since our abundant reserves, and our strengthened oil industry place us in a very solid position to meet the growing demand.” Currently, the facts and figures also show our strength and sustainability: a 3.1 million barrel per day production; refining of 1.1 million barrels per day in the Venezuela-Island system; and exports of 2.2 million barrels per day”

“For more than 80 years, Venezuela has been a reliable world supplier in the hydrocarbons market.” said Alí Rodríguez.

“At this moment, we are the fifth world supplier and the third supplier for the U.S. . And in the near future, by the end of this decade, Venezuela will also be a leader in the production and exportation of natural gas, destined to meet; in the first place, the growing demand in our country, and afterwards, the increasing world demand; with the U.S., the Caribbean, and other Latin American countries as the main consumers.” He added.

Venezuela expects to increase its crude oil production capacity from 3.8 to 5 barrels per day within the framework of Pdvsa’s 2004-2005 business plan. In 2003, the corporation had net profits of 3.8 billion $ out of 46 billion $ of world income.