Argentina, Bolivia ink gas exploration deal

The state-run oil companies of Argentina and Bolivia, YPF and YPFB, respectively, on Monday signed a deal to jointly study and explore Southern Bolivia’s Charagua area, home to an estimated 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas, Kallanish Energy reports.

The 40-year contract, signed in Bolivia’s capital La Paz, covers an area of 99,250 hectares (383.21 square miles) and could unlock investment totaling roughly $1.17 billion, the companies said.

If deemed commercial, the exploration would be done through a joint venture 51% owned by YPFB and 49% by YPF E&P – a subsidiary of the Argentine firm.

“For YPF, exploration is a strategic and fundamental element which will enable the development of new investment projects to sustain the supply of natural gas to Argentina,” said YPF’s CEO. Miguel Gutierrez.

Guillermo Acha, CEO of YPFB, said the contract will be placed before the country’s lawmakers for approval. Charagua’s exploration “could reach a maximum daily production of 10.2 million cubic meters, and estimated state oil revenue over the lifetime of the project of $ 12.36 billion,” YPFB estimated.