Russia’s Gazprom to explore for gas in Bolivia

March 18th, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by admin  

La Paz, March 18 (IANS) Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom has signed an accord with Bolivia’s state petroleum company YPFB to begin studies for natural gas exploration and production in the country, EFE news agency reported. The accord establishes that Gazprom will have a year to carry out the necessary geological analyses in the Sinchal block, situated in the southern province of Tarija, which holds 85 percent of Bolivia’s estimated 48 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The accord was signed by the Russian company’s representative for Latin America, Stanislav Tsigankov, and the president of state-owned YPFB, Santos Ramirez, at the presidential palace in La Paz.

After Gazprom presents its report, the parties will agree on terms for setting up a joint venture in which YPFB would have the majority stake.

Bolivia already has a pact for carrying out the exploration and production of hydrocarbons with state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela.

Gazprom, founded in 1989, controls 15 percent of the world’s gas reserves and is the main supplier of the product in Europe.

Bolivian President Evo Morales said that the accord with the Russian consortium would free up more investment to supply the domestic market, and allow the country to sell gas to Argentina and Brazil.

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