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France’s Total makes mega find that could boost Bolivia’s gas reserves by a third

Thursday, April 28th 2011 - 02:08 UTC
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President Evo Morales was present at the Aquio gas field President Evo Morales was present at the Aquio gas field

The French energy giant Total and its Argentine partner, Tecpetrol, announced the discovery of a major natural gas find in Aquio in southeast Bolivia.

The discovery at 4.800 meters deep is estimated to hold 84 billion cubic meters and will boost Bolivia’s natural gas reserves by nearly one third, Bolivian energy officials said on Wednesday.

“We've been talking in the past few weeks about 280 billion cubic meters of proven gas reserves in Bolivia, and I believe that with this find, we will have 13 trillion cubic feet or 364 billion cubic meters,” Bolivian president Evo Morales said during a ceremony at the site, which is 1,200 kilometers from La Paz.

Total and Tecpetrol have spent some 90 million US dollars since February, 2010 looking for gas. The state-owned oil company, YPFB, said Wednesday it did not know how long before the gas would be available, but that it would cost about 800 million USD to ready the field for production.

Private sources said that the new Aquio field could provide up to 18 million cubic meters of gas per day within the next five years. Bolivia's total natural gas output is 45 million cubic meters per day, much of it exported to Brazil and Argentina.

Total and Tecpetrol are planning to invest about 1.1 billion USD in Aquio over the next nine years according to a plan divulged by Bolivia’s YPFB.

Categories: Energy & Oil, Latin America.

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