Rosneft increases stake in Venezuelan heavy oil venture
Russian oil company Rosneft and Venezuelan NOC PDVSA have agreed to increase Rosneft's interest in the Petromonagas joint venture to 40% from 16.67%. Petromonagas is a heavy oil field located in the Carabobo area of the Orinoco belt. It has been in production since 1999. The JV operates an upgrader on the Caribbean coast which upgrades Petromonagas crude from 8.5° gravity API into 16.5° gravity API syncrude. The JV was formed in 2007, and Rosneft entered in 2013. Our valuation represents a significant premium to the US$500 million price which Rosneft paid. It is likely that both Venezuela country risk and oil price volatility were factored into Rosneft's valuation. PDVSA has been seeking foreign investment in its oil projects after being hit especially hard by low oil prices. Rosneft's financial outlook is solid, with the weaker rouble offsetting the effect of low prices. Rosneft has been looking to internationalise and this deal cements its partnership with PDVSA.