Drilling Begins at Azero Block

A consortium of Total E&P Bolivie and Gazprom EP International have started drilling Ñancahuazú—X1, the first prospecting well with a target depth of 5200 meters, at the Azero block. 2020 is expected to see the end of well construction.

Positive drilling results will lead to the drilling of an exploration well.

At present, the construction of a 6 km road with over 300 m height difference is over allowing access to the drill site. Wellsite engineering and camp construction are also complete.


On 1 August 2013, La Paz hosted, in the presence of President Evo Morales, the signing of a Service Contract on the development of Azero and the Charter of the future joint venture between Gazprom EP International, Total, and YPFB. The Contract has been effective since 2014.

The Azero license block lies in the southern part of Bolivia. Total is the project operator, exploration is performed jointly by Total and Gazprom International. A commercial discovery will lead to the creation of the Joint Venture. YPFB will get 55% in the JV and Gazprom International and Total — 22.5 % each.

Exploration works at the Azero block are divided into two phases. The first one includes magnetotelluric and gravimetric surveys of 200 linear km and the drilling of a prospecting well.

Magnetotelluric and gravimetric surveys were performed in the third quarter of 2016 in accordance with the contract; the data obtained were processed and interpreted. Exploration results allowed for the identification of two prospective structures, Ilinchupa and Ñancahuazú. However, considering the location of the Ilnchupa structure within the boundaries of the National Park, the consortium is negotiating the relinquishment of a part of the block to the state.