Bolivia Reaches Preliminary $2.5 Billion Oil, Gas Investment Deal
LA PAZ, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Bolivia's state-run oil company YPFB signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai-based Kampac Oil and London-based investment office Milner Capital for oil and gas exploration and production, Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Monday.
Under the terms of the memorandum, the two companies would invest $2.5 billion in the Madre de Dios basin in northern Bolivia, which has the potential to produce 4 billion barrels of oil and 12 trillion cubic feet of gas. Kampac would invest $500 million and Milner would invest $2 billion.
"These agreements signed with Kampac Oil, based in Dubai, and Milner Capita, based in London - new partners that are joining our exploration and production efforts - show that Bolivian norms give legal security to foreign companies," Morales said in a post on Twitter announcing the deal.
The deal includes investment to search for hydrocarbons in exploratory fields and to increase production in mature fields, Jose Morao Patino, partner and head of Latin America at Milner Capital, said at an event marking the deal in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Landlocked Bolivia is South America's top natural gas exporter, but contract re-negotiations with neighboring Argentina and Brazil as well as declining reserves and production could threaten its economy, which has grown at one of the fastest rates in the region in recent years.
(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Paul Simao)
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