PDVSA, YPFB to Form JV for La Paz E&P

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales have signed a deal to form a JV dubbed YPFB-Petroandina to perform E&P in the latter country's La Paz department, Bolivia's state news agency ABI reported.

Bolivia's state hydrocarbons company YPFB will hold 60% of the JV and its Venezuelan counterpart PDVSA the balance.

"It's a Bolivian company and that's how it should be. We only came to cooperate," Chavez said in the report.

YPFB will assign one or more areas in northern La Paz for the E&P work.

The JV will invest US$600mn in exploration, with YPFB funding US$360mn of the total. Venezuela's ambassador to Bolivia said in a separate ABI report that YPFB-Petroandina would invest US$800mn in exploration.

"This JV will start with an investment of US$600mn and if it gets results in exploration and we move on to production, the investment will increase," Bolivia's hydrocarbons minister Carlos Villegas said in the first ABI report.

YPFB and PDVSA will finalize the JV deal within two months.

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