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Update: Norsk Hydro in Venezuela

Norsk Hydro has pulled out of the heavy oil project Sincor in Venezuela. Norsk Hydro owned a 15% share of the land based project which is estimated to cost around 28 million kroner. The other partners are Statoil (15%), PdVSA (38%), and Total, which owns 47% after taking over Hydro's shares.
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
Norsk Hydro has pulled out of the heavy oil project Sincor in Venezuela. Norsk Hydro owned a 15% share of the land based project which is estimated to cost around 28 million kroner. The other partners are Statoil (15%), PdVSA (38%), and Total, which owns 47% after taking over Hydro's shares.

The first time NorWatch reported on this case was in newsletter 9, July 1997. The Sincor project is located in Zuata, along one of the side rivers to the Orionoco river. Downstream in this area, in the Orionoco delta, the protests against the oil industry from environmental organisations and indigenous peoples are quite loud. Projects in other parts of the country also face protests.

The local environmental organisation Orionoco Oilwatch demands an interruption of all development of Venezuelan oil industry until a plan to handle the environmental consequences has been worked out. And the American organisation Amazon Watch asserts that the 200 kilometre long pipeline, which is planned from Zuata to the coastal town Jos‚, will partly go through vulnerable rain forest areas.

- Amazon Watch asks Norway to hold back investments from this destructive project. Heavy oil is neither good for the environment in Orionoco's river system, nor for Norway's image as a leading nation within sustainable development, says Atossa Soltani, leader of Amazon Watch.

In addition to the project in Zuata, Statoil is also involved in Lake Maracaibu in Venezuela. This is the largest fresh water reservoir in South America. Today, the lake is almost ruined by the oil industry, and the situation causes despair among the fishermen. Venezuela is planning to multiply its oil production within a few years.

Norwatch Newsletter 15/98