Bolivia stops Petrobras projects in national Bolivia-Argentina border reserve
Wilson Cahuaya / lostiempos.com
Áreas de exploración petrolera
Bolivian gas exports in severe decline
Communities blocked roads earlier this year
By Tom Azzopardi / Platts
Petroleumworld 11 27 2019
Bolivia's new government has ordered Petrobras to halt oil and gas exploration in a national reserve amid strong opposition from local people to the oil company's activities in the area.
"I want to tell you that the first action that we have taken is to halt activities in the area of the reserve ... until we find a way to avoid the reserve being impacted by exploration and production," oil minister Victor Hugo Zamora said late Monday during a press conference in La Paz.
State oil company YPFB formed two joint ventures with the Brazilian energy company in 2017 to explore and develop the Astilleros and San Telmo Norte blocks, both in the Tariquia national reserve, on Bolivia's southern border with Argentina.
At the time, then-President Evo Morales said the two blocks were estimated to contain almost 2.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and could produce around 9 million cubic feet a day of gas from 2021.
Petrobras was expected to invest $676 million in the two projects, of which it owns 60% and acts as operator. YPFB owns 40%.
Bolivia is facing a severe decline in gas exports over the coming years as reserves are depleted, threatening a key source of government revenue.
In 2015, Morales, who resigned earlier this month amid accusations of electoral fraud, passed legislation to open the country's national reserves to oil and gas exploration.
Local communities, however, opposed the opening of the 247,000-hectare (610,350-acre) reserve to drilling. Earlier this year they blockaded roads to prevent Petrobras employees from accessing the San Telmo Norte block and eventually forced the company to withdraw from the area.
Protests resumed in the buildup to last month's disputed elections.
The minister said he would meet November 29 with oil industry representatives, including Petrobras, to discuss the future of exploration in the area.
"This is something we have promised to the people of Tarija, in principle, to ensure that Tariquia is not touched... but it is not easy because there are contracts in the way and companies already working there," the minister said.
Story by Tom Azzopardi from SPGlobal Platts
spglobal.com/platts / 11 26 2019
We invite you to join us as a sponsor.
Circulated Videos, Articles, Opinions and Reports which carry your name and brand are used to target Entrepreneurs through our site, promoting your organization’s services. The opportunity is to insert in our stories pages short attention-grabbing videos, or to publish your own feature stories.
Copyright© 1999-2019 Petroleumworld or respective author or news agency. All rights reserved.
We welcome the use of Petroleumworld™ (PW) stories by anyone provided it mentions Petroleumworld.com as the source.
Other stories you have to get authorization by its authors. Internet web links to http://www.petroleumworld.com are appreciated.
Petroleumworld welcomes your feedback and comments, share your thoughts on this article, your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us
their views and comments about this article.
Write to email@example.com
By using this link, you agree to allow PW
to publish your comments on our letters page.
Any question or suggestions,
please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best Viewed with IE 5.01+ Windows NT 4.0, '95,
'98,ME,XP, Vista, Windows 7,8,10 +/ 800x600 pixels