Petroandina plans 3-year E&P program in Bolivia

Petroandina—a company formed in August 2007 by Bolivia's state-owned Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) 60% and Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) 40%—plans to invest $883 million to finance oil and natural gas exploration and production in Bolivia.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 17 -- Petroandina—a company formed in August 2007 by Bolivia's state-owned Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) 60% and Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) 40%—plans to invest $883 million to finance oil and natural gas exploration and production in Bolivia.

Bolivia's Energy Minister Carlos Villegas said Petroandina will invest $242.2 million on exploration in the western Andean province of La Paz and another $646.1 million in central and southern Bolivia.

Exploration will last 3-5 years in the southern part of the country, where probable reserves of gas and oil have been identified, while in La Paz, surveys must be conducted before exploratory work can begin.

According to Villegas, Bolivian President Evo Morales wants Congress to approve these contracts "immediately" as a tribute to the city of La Paz, which soon celebrates the 199th anniversary of its uprising against colonial rule.

In June Petroandina Pres. Rene Ernesto Escobar said the JV will drill its first well in the Aguarague Sur Block in Chaco, southeastern Bolivia, in the second half of this year.

Bolivian Hydrocarbons Minister Carlos Villegas Quiroga said Petroandina plans to drill in Aguarague Norte, Aguarague Centro, Aguarague Sur A and Sur B, and in the Tiacia Block. However, he said, the company also is interested in operating the Secure and Chispani blocks, north of La Paz.


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