The first International Gas, Petrochemical and Green Fuel Forum was successfully held this week in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. The Forum was jointly organized by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons of Bolivia, YPFB and the Bolivian Chamber of Hydrocarbons & Energy (CBHE).
A significant event in the region, the Forum was attended by the major players of the global petroleum market who participate in exploration, development, and exploitation projects in Latin America, as well as representatives of international organizations, industry analysts, experts, and journalists. In his welcoming speech, President of Bolivia Evo Morales reassured investors of the stable development of the gas market and highlighted growing export to the neighboring countries: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Peru. According to the statistics analysts of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), gas demand in Latin America will continue to grow by an average of 3,5 per cent per year, which is significantly higher than the global rates.
Gazprom International was the strategic sponsor to the Forum and the Company’s representatives Vladimir Ilyanin and Liliya Yagudina shared new approaches to improving project performance and best environmental practices, in particular, those related to protected areas.
Deputy Director for Government Relations and International Cooperation Vladimir Ilyanin noted in his speech, “We are interested in the further development of our cooperation and consider the possibility of becoming an operator and performing efficiently for the benefit of the country and our company. We are focused on reducing time and financial expenditures in implementing the projects. We count on the support from the Ministry of Hydrocarbons of Bolivia that is an efficient regulator in the process of timely obtaining the required permits and approvals that are critical for the economic attractiveness of the projects”.
The Forum’s busy schedule allowed its participants to exchange opinions, address the ways of applying international companies’ best practices to the needs of the Bolivian petroleum industry, discuss efficient mechanisms and tools to adopt comprehensive solutions for hydrocarbons production and LNG technologies, as well as pay particular attention to green energy issues.
Bolivia is the third largest hydrocarbon producer in the South America. Annually, it produces over 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Most of the produced resources are exported to Brazil and Argentina. Proved gas reserves are estimated at ca. 11 trillion cubic feet (more than 300 billion cubic meters).
In 2007, Gazprom and YPFB signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Gazprom`s interests in Bolivian projects are represented by Gazprom International B.V. — a specialized company for implementation of overseas projects for prospecting, exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields. The representative office of the company operates in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
In partnership with Total S.A. (50%, project operator), Tecpetrol S.A. (20%) и YPFB (10%), Gazprom participates in the development of the Ipati and Aquio oil and gas blocks, where Incahuasi field was discovered. As of today, Incahuasi accounts for 14% of gas production in Bolivia. Total (50%) and Gazprom (50%) implement a hydrocarbon exploration project in the Azero block.
In 2017, Gazprom International and Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) signed a Memorandum of Intention of proceeding to commercial negotiation on La Ceiba and Vitiacua blocks located in southern Bolivia. This July, Gazprom International and YPFB signed a Heads of Agreement preceding the Petroleum Services Contact for Exploration and Exploitation in Vitiacua Area. This document will allow for proceeding to the creation of the contractual framework for the exploration project complying with the complicated Bolivian legislation.