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Bolivia, Gazprom sign protocol on joint gas exploration

MEXICO, February 22 (RIA Novosti) - Bolivia's state-controlled oil and gas company and Russia's energy giant Gazprom have signed a protocol on cooperation in prospecting and exploration of natural gas resources in the Latin American country, the Bolivian state news agency said Thursday.

While working to boost its presence in Europe, Gazprom is also increasingly looking to Latin American markets. The focus is on cooperation talks with Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, who plan to build a transcontinental pipeline, which will also cross Bolivia.

"The signed protocol envisions the implementation of a series of national projects that will have a great impact on the development of the Bolivian economy," YPFB President Manuel Morales Olivera said.

According to the document, YPFB and Gazprom will launch a number of joint projects involving gas processing, the construction of gas compressor stations, the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and sales of Bolivian gas on foreign markets.

New laws in Bolivia enabled YPFB to broaden its horizons, lifting restrictions on the state-owned company and allowing it to become involved in all aspects of the gas chain, from exploration and production to sales.

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