LA PAZ Petroandina, a 60/40 joint venture of Bolivian state oil company YPFB and Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA, inaugurated Tuesday its first exploratory well in the northern part of La Paz province.
Joining Petroandina executives for the opening of the Lliquimuni Centro X1 facility were Bolivian President Evo Morales and the head of YPFB, Carlos Villegas.
Petroandina has invested $151 million in the search for oil in the area.
Lliquimuni may hold as much as 50 million barrels of oil and 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to an October 2011 study by YPFB.
The company expects to learn within the next 12 months whether those estimates are correct.
We hope that in December of next year, we all are celebrating the discovery of oil in Lliquimuni. If the result is positive, as we expect, we will continue with the investments, Villegas said.
Assuming that oil is found, Petroandina is prepared to invest in two additional wells, transportation infrastructure and possibly a refinery, Villegas said.