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BMI View: Upstream investment into Bolivia has remained intact thanks to the
country's strategic location and favourable below-ground prospects. However,
weak reserves growth of both oil and gas persists, creating long-term
uncertainty for production and exports. Continued investment in projects to
monetise domestic gas resources for local consumption in the residential, power
and industrial sectors could tighten the supply-demand picture in the medium
Latest Updates And Key Forecasts
-Data from Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) shows natural gas
discoveries in Bolivia totalled about 1.5trn cubic meters in 2015, underscoring
the country's below ground promise. However, we caution that significant
operational headwinds will persist given the company's shrinking profits and
budget amid the global sector downturn. Our outlook for 2016 remains positive,
with a number of key projects, including first gas from the Ipati and Aquio
fields; however, we caution that long-term growth will be challenging to
-The start-up of national oil company YPFB's virtual LNG supply project in
Bolivia on February 15 marked an important change in the country's domestic
energy makeup. As the first such project of its kind in Bolivia, the USD144mn
Rio Grande LNG facility will support growing demand for gas in rural communities
which lack access to the country's vast resource due to a insufficient pipeline
-In February, the Bolivian government signed a much-anticipated series of
agreements with Russian oil and gas major Gazprom covering exploration,
production and transportation of hydrocarbons as well as construction and
upgrading of associated infrastructure. The memorandum also included updates to
Bolivia's natural gas development plan through 2040, implying added involvement
by the Russian firm.
-In March, the joint venture between PdVSA and YPFB to drill the Lliquimuni C
X-1 well in the La Paz region came up dry, with the well failing to yield any
commercially viable quantities of oil and gas. The project had been touted as
highly promising by President Evo Morales prior to its development.