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Venezuela Says Pluspetrol's Petrodelta Buy `Advancing'

Venezuela Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said negotiations to finalize Pluspetrol Resources Corp.’s purchase of an 80 percent stake in Harvest Natural Resources Inc.’s Petrodelta are moving forward.

“We are advancing our negotiations with Pluspetrol regarding its interest to acquire the remaining stake in Petrodelta owned by Harvest,” Ramirez told reporters today at a press conference in Caracas. He didn’t give any further details related to the deal.

Harvest Natural, based in Houston, said Dec. 16 that it had agreed to sell the Petrodelta stake to Argentina’s Pluspetrol for $400 million in cash, with the purchaser acquiring the stake in two transactions. The first transaction, for $125 million, closed on the day the deal was announced. Harvest said at the time it expected the second transaction, for $275 million, to close around mid-year. The deal requires approval from the Venezuelan government.

Petrodelta was projected to produce about 41,300 barrels a day last year from oil fields in northeastern Venezuela, according to Harvest Natural (HNR)’s website. When the sale is complete, the company will have exited Venezuela.

Harvest Natural didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. The stock rose 2.5 percent to $4.54 at the close in New York.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pietro D. Pitts in Caracas at ppitts2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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