LA PAZ – Russia’s Gazprom, French oil major Total and Bolivian state oil company YPFB will sign a contract this week for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the Azero block of southeastern Bolivia.
President Evo Morales will preside over Thursday morning’s signing ceremony, YPFB said in a statement.
YPFB chief Carlos Villegas; Vladimir Burdakov, the head of GP Exploracion y Produccion, Gazprom’s Bolivian unit; and Jose Ignacio Sanz, the head of Total’s Bolivian subsidiary, will sign the contract.
Azero covers a 785,625-hectare (3,030-sq.-mile) area that includes parts of the provinces of Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca.
YPFB’s vice president of Administration, Contracts and Control, Luis Alberto Sanchez, said the deal would mark the start of a new stage of hydrocarbon exploration in Bolivia.
Exploration of the Azero block was authorized by YPFB’s board on Oct. 17, 2012, and by a law enacted on May 17, which is a clear sign of the “legal certainty the country offers foreign investors,” Sanchez said.
Spain’s Repsol, Brazil’s Petrobras and British Gas are among a dozen multinational corporations that operate in Bolivia, mainly developing natural gas fields and exporting the hydrocarbon to markets in Brazil and Argentina. EFE