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Gazprom Joins Ipati and Aquio Projects

Source: 10/6/2010, Location: South America

Gazprom Group and French petroleum company Total signed a share assignment agreement on September 30, 2010, within the Bolivia’s Ipati and Aquio blocks exploration project.

Upon the approval of this transaction by Bolivian authorities, the equity stake of Gazprom Group (Gazprom EP International B.V.) in the project will make up 20 per cent, Total – 60 per cent, TecPetrol – 20 per cent.

The project participants are planning to perform joint exploration and development within the Ipati and Aquio licensed blocks. According to tentative forecasts, gas production from the field will be started in 2013.

Gazprom Group and Total are rounding off negotiations with Bolivian state petroleum company YPFB on a joint project within the Acero block.

Bolivia has the third largest gas reserves in Latin America after Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago.

Bolivia’s proven natural gas reserves average 0.75 trillion cubic meters, oil – 60 million tons. The total natural gas reserves, both proven and probable are estimated at 1.5 trillion cubic meters. The major hydrocarbon reserves are located in the four largest fields of the Tarija area – Margarita, San Alberto, Itau and Sabalo (over 80 per cent of the total). Among other promising gas-bearing provinces are Santa-Cruz (10.6 per cent) and Cochabamba (2.5 per cent).

State interests in the oil and gas sector are represented by YPFB. The company is vested with the exclusive right to participate on behalf of the state in petroleum projects and sell hydrocarbons. Bolivia is the major natural gas supplier to Brazil and Argentina.

In February 2007 Gazprom and Bolivian state petroleum company YPFB signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The document envisages cooperation in the Bolivian hydrocarbon exploration and development sector, analysis of the opportunities for joining infrastructure projects including LNG production, as well as the advanced training and career development opportunities for the oil and gas sector specialists.

On September 18, 2008 Gazprom, YPFB and Total E&P Bolivia signed a trilateral Memorandum stipulating joint assessment of the Acero and Carahuaicho blocks being another step towards the creation of a joint hydrocarbon production venture in Bolivia.

In September 2008 Gazprom, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. and YPFB signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the prospects for the Company’s entry in the shareholding structure of the Petroandina company.

On April 8, 2009 Gazprom and YPFB signed an Agreement to elaborate the general scheme for the Bolivian gas industry development until 2030.

Licensed blocks Ipati and Aquio are located in the southern regions of Bolivia comprising the Subandino petroleum basin of the Andes foreland. Gazprom estimates the explored reserves in these blocks at 176.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas (C1+C2 category) and 14.8 billion tons of gas condensate.

Being Gazprom’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Gazprom EP International B.V. manages the Company’s international hydrocarbon exploration and production assets.

Total is among the world’s largest energy companies. It reaches end consumers in 130 countries covering a whole range of petroleum production operations from upstream to downstream.

TecPetrol is an Argentinean petroleum company engaged in oil and gas exploration and transportation in Latin American countries (Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico).

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