On May, 29 a meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) between PJSC Gazprom and Bolivian National Oil & Gas Company – Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) was held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the largest economic center of Bolivia.
The meeting was presided by Vitaliy Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee, PJSC Gazprom, Luis Alberto Sanchez, Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy of Bolivia, Andrey Fick, Managing Director and CEO, Gazprom International, and Oscar Barriga, President, YPFB.
The sides discussed a wide range of topical issues regarding partnership in gas industry and further development of joint projects. Special emphasis was put on new oil and gas prospects development in the territory of Bolivia. In 2016 Gazprom International and YPFB concluded an Agreement on exploration of three promising blocks, southern Vitiacua block being one of them. The document implied preliminary study of geological and geophysical data, reserves evaluation and feasibility study preparation. The companies intend to reach acceptable economic performance of project implementation in order to sign services contracts on exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in this block.
Within the framework of NGV cooperation, participants of JCC discussed financial aspects of delivery scheme for liquid-gas and compressed-gas vehicles and development of a network of gas-filling stations set up with Russian-made equipment. Bolivia is interested in procurement of natural gas cargo and passenger vehicles. This meets the objectives of the country’s environmental policy. Earlier the Bolivian delegation met with the representatives of the Russian car manufacturers in order to attract their interest to this pilot project. With support of Gazprom, the Russian side handed to the Bolivian side a NGV tractor unit KAMAZ that passed high altitude tests.
The partners highly appraised Russian-Bolivian cooperation in the energy sector. It was mentioned that the sides continue the development of Incahuasi field in the south of the country. Daily production there is around 8 million cubic meters of gas. Since the beginning of the development in 2016, over 4 billion cubic meters of gas and 400 thousand tons of condensate have been produced. Gas is mainly transported to Argentina; condensate is sold at the country’s domestic market. In addition, preparation for exploratory drilling carries on in the Azero block.
Luis Alberto Sanchez and Vitaliy Markelov said that an important goal for further cooperation between Gazprom and YPFB is to fix the reached agreements by signing contracts during the forthcoming visit of Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, to Russia.
“We are happy to contribute to two countries drawing together, especially on the eve of an important visit that is expected in June. I am sure that presidents’ meeting will be of great success not only for strengthening cooperation in oil and gas sector, but will make a positive influence on the development of the relationships between our countries ” – summarized the discussion Vitaliy Markelov.
Also during the JCC, names of Gazprom scholarship holders were announced. They were Nolia Blanco Escalera and Ivana Azurdui Dorado. They will receive higher education in the Gubkin Russian State University, programs in “Operation and Maintenance of Facilities for Transportation and Storage of Oil, Gas and Refinery Products” and “Operation and Maintenance of Facilities for the Production of Gas, Gas Condensate and Underground Storage Facilities”. The program for preparation of Bolivian students in Russia is organized within the framework of the Cooperation Agreement on personnel training, signed between Gazprom and YPFB last year.
Bolivia is the third largest hydrocarbon producer in the South America. Annually it produces over 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas, proved reserves were evaluated in the end of 2013 to be 297 billion cubic meters of oil and 28 million tons of condensate.
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 offices of the company are operating in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and La Paz.
Gazprom in partnership with Total S.A. (50%, project operator), Tecpetrol S.A. (20%) и YPFB (10%) participates in development of the Ipati and Aquio oil and gas blocks, where Incahuasi field was discovered. Total (50%) and Gazprom (50%) implement a hydrocarbon exploration project in the Azero block.
In 2016, Gazprom, Bolivia’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons and Energy, and YPFB signed a Road map for implementing projects in the country. According to the Roadmap, parties will perform joint prospecting, exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons across Bolivia and will update the General Scheme for the Bolivian gas industry development until 2040. Russian and Bolivian companies also collaborate in the area of personnel development and training.