Total, Tecpetrol, Make Major Bolivian Natural Gas Discovery

The French energy giant Total and its Argentinian partner, Tecpetrol, announced the discovery of a major natural gas find in Aquio in southeast Bolivia.

The find, which contains some three trillion cubic feet (84 billion cubic meters), will boost natural gas reserves in this Andean country by nearly one third, Bolivian energy officials said Wednesday.

"We've been talking in the past few weeks about 10 trillion cubic feet (280 billion cubic meters) of proven gas reserves in Bolivia, and I believe that with this find, we will have 13 trillion cubic feet (364 billion cubic meters)," Bolivian president Evo Morales said during a ceremony at the site, which is 720 miles (1,200 kilometers) from La Paz.

Total and Tecpetrol have spent some $70 million since February, 2010 looking for gas. The state-owned oil company, YPFB, said Wednesday it did not know how long before the gas would be available, but that it would cost about $800 million to ready the field for production.

Source: Agence France Presse

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