Gazprom chief negotiates terms of joint venture in Bolivia

08/10/2009

BUENOS AIRES, October 8 (RIA Novosti) Gazprom chief, Alexei Miller, met on Wednesday with his Bolivian colleagues to discuss the establishment of a prospecting joint venture.

In mid-September Gazprom and Total have signed a memorandum with Bolivian company YPFB on gas exploration and extraction, and the possible creation of a joint venture in Bolivia.

“We have managed to agree on the time frame for the joint venture,” Miller told journalists on the sidelines of the International Gas Congress currently underway in the Bolivian capital, Buenos Aires.

Gazprom’s press service confirmed that Miller met with Bolivian Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Oscar Coca and YPFB chief Carlos Villegas on Wednesday.

Miller said Russia could take part in the engineering of a 8,000-km trans-continental gas pipeline to link Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay. The project’s estimated costs are expected to top $23 billion.

Bolivia is second in Latin America after Venezuela in terms of natural gas reserves (1.5 trillion cubic meters) and has a high gas-bearing potential.

Gazprom and YPFB signed a memorandum of understanding in February 2007 for prospecting and infrastructure projects as well as the training of staff.

The blocks selected by Gazprom experts – Sunchal, Acero and Carohuaicho – are located in southeastern Bolivia within the gas-bearing Subandino Sur basin. Experts estimate they contain up to 300 billion cubic meters of gas.

Source: RIA Novosti

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