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12:21, 16 Февраля 15
New YPFB President Appointed

New YPFB President Appointed At his La Paz residence, President of Bolivia Evo Morales accepted the oath of Guillermo Luis Acha, the new head of the state-owned oil and gas company, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB).

Guillermo Luis Acha had been acting President of the company since late December during the hospitalisation of YPFB President Carlos Villegas, who died on 24 January after a serious illness.

During the official ceremony, Mr. Morales expressed confidence that new YPFB President will continue Bolivian oil and gas industry development based on the strategy chosen by his predecessor.

In turn, Mr. Acha promised that he would make every effort to further improve the company’s performance, and announced that the company will invest up to USD 2.4 billion this year in exploration of new fields. According to Bolivian media, exploration intensification and production expansion are just a few of the primary goals of the newly inaugurated YPFB President.

Mr. Acha previously held senior positions in a number of YPFB subsidiaries. More recently, he was appointed YPFB Vice President for Production.

Carlos Villegas, YPFB President since 2009, died in late January at the age of 61 after a long illness. According to the state-owned oil company, during his presidency YPFB doubled its natural gas production (compared to 2005) to a record 62 million cubic metres per day. National energy sector investments exceeded USD 8 billion, government budget revenues from the oil and gas sector were over USD 22 billion and company net earnings increased to USD 4.6 billion.

Earlier, on 23 January, during his inauguration after winning the April elections Bolivian President Evo Morales introduced the members of the new Cabinet. Luis Alberto Sanchez Fernández, the Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, who superseded Juan Jose Sosa, who had led the Bolivian energy sector since 2012, was among them.

The new Minister, who earlier was YPFB Vice President for Contracts Management and Supervision, told reporters that his priorities would be overcoming the effects of low oil prices, expanding the exploration program, and further modernisation of the country’s energy sector.

Bolivia ranks number three in South America in hydrocarbon production, producing more than 20 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually. Most of the resources extracted are exported to Brazil (approximately 33 million cubic metres per day) and Argentina (15 million cubic metres per day).

At the end of 2013, the proven natural gas reserves in Bolivia were 10.5 trillion cubic feet (296 billion cubic metres) and the proven oil and condensate reserves were 211.4 million barrels (28 million tonnes).

Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, the Bolivian state-owned oil and gas company, was founded in 1936. In 2006, under the decree of President Evo Morales, all energy assets including those owned by foreign companies passed under YPFB’s control.

Last year, all YPFB group companies produced over 22 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Gazprom collaborates with YPFB on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the companies in 2007. The document states that the partners intend to expand cooperation in the exploration and development of hydrocarbon fields in Bolivia and explore opportunities for participation in infrastructure projects.

In Bolivia, Gazprom is represented by Gazprom International, the sole company of the group specialising in prospecting, exploration and development of oil and gas reserves outside the Russian Federation. Currently, Gazprom International is implementing exploration projects in the Ipati, Aquio and Acero licence blocks in Bolivia as part of an international consortium.

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