Chaco Pegs US$30mn Percheles Investment on Sector Conditions

Bolivian oil company Petrolera Chaco could invest an additional US$30mn to develop its Percheles gas discovery depending on the conditions created by the new hydrocarbons law, a Chaco spokesperson told BNamericas Tuesday.

Chaco announced July 23 the discovery of some 300 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas and condensates at its Percheles X1001 well in the Juan Latino II block, some 60km southeast of Santa Cruz city.

"The discovery has been made, the investment has been made, but we are waiting to make the investment that is missing, everything is on hold right now," the spokesperson said.

According to the company's development plan, it would invest US$30mn to drill three more wells, install a separation plant and transport the gas to the existing pipeline network for export or sale to the domestic market, the spokesperson said.

The US$5.6mn well was drilled earlier this year and testing was completed July 3, but the company waited about three weeks to announce the discovery in order to complete additional tests and "to decide our strategy," the spokesperson said.

The discovery also contains gas condensate at 50 degrees API, the spokesperson said. "The behavior of the well during tests has been good, allowing us to estimate initial reserves in the order of 300bcf," Chaco president Octavio Pastrana said in his company's statement.

The discovery is located close to gas exportation pipelines and it could be brought into production in the short term "if the regulations allow it," he added. Chaco's shared-risk contract on Juan Latino II block was signed with the Bolivian government in 1997 under its capitalization process. The first exploration period was for seven years to 2004, after which the terms of the agreement allow Chaco to move to a development phase in the event of a commercial discovery.

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