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Bolivia hashes deal with Petrobras

16th May 2012

Bolivian company strikes deal with Brazilian oil giant in move to increase domestic reserves and production

Bolivia is keen to maximise its natural gas reserves

Bolivia's state energy company YPFB plans to negotiate three new contracts with Brazil's Petrobras to explore natural gas fields in the southern province of Tarija, the Bolivian company said on Tuesday.
 
YPFB is seeking new foreign investment to boost reserves and production in Bolivia, where President Evo Morales nationalised the energy industry in 2006, Reuters reported. Natural gas is the impoverished South American country's biggest export

Petrobras informed YPFB it discovered potential gas reserves in the Astillero, Sunchal and San Telmo blocks, near the San Alberto, San Antonio and Itau fields where Petrobras extracts most of the natural gas that Bolivia pumps to Brazil - which totals as much as 32 million cubic meters per day.

"The technical reports conclude that ... these areas have a significant volume of prospective gas and condensate resources," YPFB said in a statement.

It did not specify the potential size of the deposits or the amount of investment that would be required of Petrobras.

YPFB authorized its president, Carlos Villegas, to negotiate service contracts with Petrobras to have it explore the fields.

Bolivia has said it needs more than USD 10 billion in investment from 2012 to 2015 to boost natural gas output to the targeted 70 million cubic meters per day needed to fulfill export commitments to Brazil and Argentina while also meeting domestic demand.