Russia's initial investment in Bolivian gas fields

December 29, 2008
RusRussia's initial investment in Bolivian gas fields to hit $4 mln
 Immediate investment by Russian companies in the exploration of new gas fields in Bolivia could reach $4 million, Mexican media reported, referring to Bolivian Energy Minister Saul Avalos. According to Avalos, geological prospecting will begin as soon as January. Avalos said a delegation comprising representatives of Russian energy giant Gazprom and Russia's largest independent crude producer LUKoil would arrive in the Bolivian capital in January 2009 to map out specific projects for investment in the gas sector. "The Russian government will also help Bolivia establish a natural gas research institute in 2009," the minister said. In mid-September, Gazprom and France's Total signed an agreement with Bolivia on the joint exploration and production of natural gas in the Latin American country. Experts estimate investment to reach $4.5 billion. Last week, Bolivian President Evo Morales told local media about his plans to visit Russia in February next year to sign a number of cooperation agreements, including in the energy sector. Bolivia holds second place after Venezuela in terms of gas reserves in Latin America. Bolivia's natural gas reserves are largely concentrated in the southeast of the country at four major deposits Margarita, San Alberto, Sabalo and Itau. In May 2006, Morales signed a decree on nationalizing the country's gas industry. –