Commission Recommends Petroconsul for San Alberto Audit

The commission evaluating bids to audit Bolivia's two mega gas fields is recommending that the hydrocarbons ministry award local consulting firm Petroconsul the 1.97mn-boliviano (US$246,403) audit of the San Alberto field, a hydrocarbons ministry spokesperson told BNamericas, confirming local press reports.

However, the commission disqualified local consulting firm Data Consult from the tender process because one of the company members set to carry out the audit is an ex-official of the hydrocarbons ministry, the spokesperson said.

Data Consult was the only consulting firm to submit an audit proposal for the San Antonio field and as a result the ministry launched a new audit tender late-Monday.

The ministry will open new proposals for the San Antonio audit on July 13 and plans to award the audit on July 17, the spokesperson said.

The audits will determine the investments made, amortizations, operating costs and profitability of the mega gas fields to serve as the basis for negotiations of new contracts with the companies operating the blocks.

Both blocks are 50%-owned by Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), 15% by France's Total (NYSE: TOT) and 35% by local company Andina, in which Spanish oil major Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP) holds a 50% stake.

The fields are the only two gas fields in Bolivia that produced more than 100 million cubic feet a day (Mf3/d) of gas in 2005. As a result, the fields are subject to 32% participation by Bolivia's state oil company YPFB plus a 32% hydrocarbons tax (IDH) and 18% for royalties and participations until contracts are renegotiated as decreed in the May 1 nationalization.

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