Bolivian Environmental Commission to Survey Chaco Damage

Bolivia's President Evo Morales will send a commission to the country's southwestern Gran Chaco province to verify environmental and social claims made by indigenous communities against Spanish oil major Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP), Bolivia's government news service ABI reported. The claims relate to communities living near the Margarita field, which is in the Caipipendi block in Tarija department.

The commission will be presided over by state oil company YPFB president Jorge Alvarado as well as the deputy minister of lands Alejandro Almaraz and the deputy minister of natural resources and environment Juan Carlos Iporre. The commission will verify the magnitude of the environmental damages and quantify compensation for the indigenous communities that live in the area.

Bolivia's government and YPFB are currently meeting with Repsol YPF officials regarding future production in the country. However, a YPFB spokesperson told BNamericas that the topic of the Margarita field will not be addressed in these discussions.

Through its Maxus subsidiary, Repsol YPF owns 37.5% of the Caipipendi block and is the operator, while the Bolivian unit of UK oil company BG (NYSE: BG) owns 37.5% and Argentine oil company Pan American Energy owns 25%, according to a previous BNamericas report.

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