Venezuela Appoints New Gas Vice President at State Company PDVSA

(Reuters) — Venezuela has appointed a new vice president at PDVSA who will lead the state company's gas operations, a key move as the South American country negotiates licenses with foreign companies to develop its mostly untapped natural gas reserves.

Luis Gonzalez Nuñez was appointed PDVSA's new gas vice president, according to a decree published in official gazette, seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The position was previously held by Juan Santana.

Decades of insufficient investment, contract changes, mismanagement at PDVSA and — more recently — U.S. sanctions have limited the development of Venezuela's gas sector, which could become a large source of revenue for the cash-strapped nation.

Oil Minister Pedro Tellechea, who is also PDVSA's CEO, last month said talks with companies interested in gas projects were progressing, but some terms needed to be finalized so licenses could be issued later this year.

In a separate decree, the government also created a data bank that will handle information about oil and gas activities and reserves and will be able to sell seismic data packs to interested parties.

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