Spanish energy major Repsol announced a new natural gas find in the Margarita-Huacaya block of southeast Bolivia and said the company's investment in Phase III of that project is expected to reach $293 million through 2018, helping ensure exports of the fuel to Brazil and Argentina.
The announcement was made in a ceremony at the Margarita 7ST well site, where the discovery was made. The event was attended by Bolivian President Evo Morales, Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau, Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz San Miguel and Bolivian Hydrocarbons Minister Luis Sanchez.
Brufau said the new find could boost production by 3 million cubic meters (105.7 million cubic feet) per day at Margarita-Huacaya, part of the Caipipendi area.
The Caipipendi consortium is operated by Repsol Bolivia, with a 37.5 percent stake, and includes BG Group (37.5 percent) and PAE E&P Bolivia (25 percent).
Repsol said in a statement Saturday that it currently produces "18 million cubic meters of gas (per day) in Bolivia, having achieved early the production expected for 2016," adding that "Margarita-Huacaya is one of 10 key projects in Repsol's 2012-2016 Strategic Plan."
The company said after the completion of drilling efforts at the Margarita 7ST well, which reached a depth of 6,000 meters, that the work was a success because it led to the discovery of a new natural gas reservoir in the Huamampampa geological formation.
Repsol has not yet quantified the volume of the newly discovered reserves, but Sanchez said they could total 800 billion cubic feet (in 2014, Bolivia said its certified proved natural gas reserves stood at 10.45 trillion cubic feet).
Morales recalled that Repsol announced another find at the Margarita 8 well in February that represented an additional 2 million cmd, meaning that 5 million cmd of output has been added thus far this year.
Bolivia produces 60 million cmd of natural gas, of which some 32 million cmd are exported to Brazil and 16 million cmd to Argentina.