In recent years the market for low API gravity crude or heavy oil has increased tremendously. For this reason an extensive program for producing this type or crude was initiated some two years ago by Mene Grande Oil Company. This paper is primarily a progress report or one year's experience or producing 10to 11 API gravity crude. The primary source or heavy oil production is in the Merey Block or South Oficina Area in Eastern Venezuela.

Currently, approximately 40,000 BPD or formation crude oil is being produced by the bottom-hole blending technique from 200 wells in the Melones, Miga and Oleos Fields. This producing technique increases the gravity or the oil handled to 15 API, which minimizes many or the problems caused by viscous oils. By using this technique, an estimated initial capital saving or 15% on equipment will be realized. Production is carried from the producing fields through a 43-mile 24" pipeline to the Oficina Tank Farm where it enters a 98-mile 30" trunk line to Puerto La Cruz. The crude will deed into a 60,000 BPD refinery addition to the present Venezuelan Gulf Refining Company plant.

Heavy oil deposits are produced in other areas in Eastern Venezuela by various other methods, but these will not be discussed in detail.

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