YPFB starts magnetoteluric study in Itacaray with US$4.2mn investment

Friday, August 24, 2018

This press release from YPFB was published using an automatic translation system.

With the participation of the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) launched the magnetoteluric study for the Itacaray area, a prospect that will allow identifying the location for the future drilling of an exploratory well.

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"It is estimated that the prospective potential of this area is around 0.9 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and based on the results of the magnetoteluric study that begins today, the coordinates for the future drilling of a prospect will be established. exploratory that allows to corroborate such estimations ", explained the president of YPFB, Óscar Barriga Arteaga.

According to Barriga, the project will allow registering, processing and interpreting the magnetotelluric data of the coverage area of ​​970 square kilometers; through the measurement of 430 stations, distributed along 13 profiles, with a separation between stations of 400 meters, covering the nucleus of the Anticline and 1,000 meters on the flanks. The purpose of the study is to determine the geometry of the anticline in the subsoil, where the seismic method has a limited scope due to the geological characteristics of the region.

The magnetotelluric method is based on the measurement of electric and magnetic fields emitted from the subsoil. It measures electromagnetic waves, very low frequency, much lower than AM radio waves, are waves whose origin responds to the interaction of the earth's magnetic field with the solar wind or those caused by electrical storms. The measurement of these waves allows the experts to estimate the resistivities of the materials found in the subsoil, characterized by the interface between geological transformations of interest.

The Itacaray area is located between the provinces of Luis Calvo and Hernando Siles of the Chuquisaca Department, within the traditional hydrocarbon zone of Bolivia. The geological objectives are the Huamampampa, Icla and Santa Rosa formations of the Devonian system. For the study, YPFB Chaco will allocate a total investment of 4.2 million dollars, and the execution of the project will last approximately four months, during this period the acquisition, processing and interpretation of information will take place.


Due to the fact that it does not use explosives for its realization and breaches are not made, it is a method considered friendly with the environment, it does not generate environmental liabilities and is socially non-invasive. The measuring instruments are placed superficially without affecting the soil or the natural environment. In addition, it is a geophysical method that optimizes the results when used together with other studies and exploratory activities.