AT A GLANCE: Bolivia's hydrocarbons exploration push

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bolivian state hydrocarbons company YPFB's "new" exploration strategy envisions US$3.7bn in investment through 2020 to increase natural gas production, as part of the country's export-oriented hydrocarbons industrialization plan.

Efforts include the acquisition of geophysical information, in particular frontier areas, well drilling, increasing stock of drilling equipment and materials, and creation of a data bank.

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The work plan aims to replace and increase reserves, replace current "megafields" with new projects and diversify the geographical production footprint through a greater number of areas in operation.


Projects include Incahuasi (14.7Mm3/d maximum production plateau, 2.2Tf3 potential resources), San Telmo (11.7Mm3/d, 3.4Tf3), Charagua (10.2Mm3/d, 2.3Tf3), Boyuy (9.2Mm3/d, 2.8Tf3), Abapó (8.9Mm3/d, 1.2Tf3), Azero (8.8Mm3/d, 1.8Tf3) and Astillero (5.6Mm3/d, 1.1Tf3).

Bolivia's gas deliveries in the first six days of October averaged 58.8Mm3/d, the bulk of which is exported. The country's proven gas reserves at end-2013 were 10.5Tf3.


Following recent seismic calls targeting the highlands and subandean fold and thrust belt, YPFB now has budgeted some 292mn bolivianos (US$42mn) to acquire 329km of 2D data in the Aguaragüe Norte block.

On the drilling front, the company plans to spud wells Sipotindi-X1, Yarará-X1 and Villamontes-X7 in the coming months.

Meanwhile, a number of firms have expressed interest in helping YPFB implement a data bank to organize upstream information. Potential bidders include Halliburton, Innovision, Remasa and Schlumberger.


For a look at hydrocarbon exploration projects in Bolivia, check out BNamericas' Database which includes:

For further perspective into Bolivia's gas development plans, check out the following BNamericas' reports:

Bolivia's natural gas segment faces uncertain future

The big question mark hanging over Bolivia gas sales to Brazilt

Bolivia's hydrocarbons nationalization, delving deeper

Pictured: The Huacaya 2 exploration well (CREDIT: YPFB)