Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, and Respol YPF, Spain's largest oil company, have signed oil and natural gas exploration agreements with YPF Bolivianos, Bolivia's state-controlled oil producer. Financial details of the agreements were not disclosed.
Petrobras (PBR) and Repsol (REP) will explore six areas in Bolivia's southern Tarija region where most of the country's gas is produced, Platts reported, citing Bolivian press reports.
The CIA World Factbook estimates Bolivia produced 47,050 barrels of oil per day last year, well below 2009's production level of almost 62,000 barrels per day. Bolivia has an estimated 21.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, the second-largest total in South America behind OPEC member Venezuela, Platts reported.
Investment in Bolivia's energy industry has suffered since the government took control of YPF Bolivianos in 2006. The country's oil production has plunged 50% since then. France's Total (TOT), Europe's third largest oil company, is among the other Western oil majors with a presence in Bolivia.