YPFB Joins with Total, Gazprom to Explore Azero Block

Total, Gazprom and Yacimentos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) have signed a cooperation agreement to explore the Azero block within the framework of a joint venture company in which Total and Gazprom will own equal stakes.

The 4,764 square-kilometer Azero block is located in a new gas-rich province in the Andes foothills in southeastern Bolivia. It is next to the Ipati and Aquio blocks, where Total made a major natural gas find in 2004.

 The agreement is a further demonstration of Total's commitment to working with national oil companies, both within and outside of their borders.

The agreement with YPFB and Gazprom strengthens the position of Total, which has operated in Bolivia since 1996. The Group holds stakes in six licenses in Bolivia: two production licenses, San Alberto and San Antonio (15%), which supply natural gas to Brazil and the domestic Bolivian market; and four exploration licenses where two discoveries have already been made; Block XX West (75%, operator), Aquio and Ipati (80% each, operator) and Rio Hondo (50%).