Under the agreement, TNK-BP and PDVSA will prepare technical and commercial proposals for a prospective joint project which will provide for the production of extra heavy crude oil, improvement of the crude oil’s quality and export of the improved crude.

TNK-BP and PDVSA will set up a steering committee to manage the activities of a joint working group, which will carry out the research and design activity necessary for the project evaluation and optimal ways of its implementation.

The joint study agreement is deemed to be a logical continuation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the assessment and certification of reserves at the Ayacucho-2 block signed by the two companies in October 2007.

Pursuant to the MoU, TNK-BP undertook obligations to assist PDVSA in reserve assessment and certification of the Ayacucho-2 block. Since January 2008, a group of TNK-BP technical and commercial experts have been stationed in Venezuela to work on the project together with PDVSA. Joint activities included examination of the available reserve data, and getting new data through drilling and testing of new appraisal wells.