Spanish energy major Repsol has signed agreements with Bolivian state-owned firm YPFB to study the potential of two hydrocarbon prospects - one in the eastern part of the country and another in the Andean region.
The director of Repsol’s Bolivian operations, Jorge Ciacciarelli, signed the accords Wednesday with YPFB chief Carlos Villegas in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, the Bolivian company said in a statement.
Repsol will conduct studies in Carohuaicho, a 97,500-hectare (240,740-acre) area of the eastern province of Santa Cruz where there is believed to be a high probability of gas reserves, and in Casira, a 192,500-hectare area of the southwestern province of Potosi that is expected to contain liquid hydrocarbon reserves.
“This shows Repsol’s interest in participating actively in the plan to develop fields and conduct exploration in Bolivia. These are two very important agreements and we’re going to conduct these studies as quickly as possible,” Ciacciarelli said.
The executive noted that many areas in Bolivia have not yet been studied.
Villegas said once Repsol has the results - in a period of 10 months or less - it will decide whether to enter into energy-services contract in the determined areas.
Study agreements allow energy firms to evaluate the potential of areas and determine the basis for new exploration and production projects, YPFB said.
Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau visited Bolivia on May 1 to inaugurate a second gas-processing plant at the giant Margarita field (operated by the Spanish company) with the Andean nation’s socialist head of state, Evo Morales, a project aimed at boosting gas exports to Argentina.
The ceremony came hours after Bolivia had expropriated a unit of Spanish electric utility REE.
In November, during a previous visit to the same gas field in southern Bolivia, Brufau had confirmed to Morales Repsol’s plans to invest $640 million in the country in the 2010-2014 period.