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Venezuela taps obscure driller to replace big-name oil companies


With brand-name drillers unwilling to jump in, Venezuela is resorting to a newly formed US company for help in shoring up production from its crude reserves, the largest in the world.

Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co., the world’s biggest oil-service providers, have announced over $2 billion in combined write-offs for unpaid bills in Venezuela since the second quarter of 2017. That’s left the South American country little choice but to reach out to secondary service companies with its oil exports slumping to a 28-year low.

The result: An agreement with US-based Erepla Services LLC, created in 2018, to boost production at the Tia Juana and Rosa Mediano fields in exchange for half the oil produced, according to documents seen by Bloomberg.

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