Bolivia's state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) plans to invest 151 million U.S. dollars by December to explore oil reserves in the western department of La Paz, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera announced Monday.
"People should not doubt that the government will spend the money needed to find oil in the department of La Paz, and that way generate a source of resources for the entire country," said Garcia at a public forum.
According to YPFB, the oil company had spent 97 million dollars on exploration work in Lliquimuni in northern La Paz up till 2011 and 19 million dollars in 2012, and has earmarked 35 million dollars for 2013.
Recent surveys showed a geological formation contains major gas and oil reserves. It begins in southern Tarija department, passes through central Cochabamba, La Paz, and extends toward Venezuela's Orinoco Belt.
Carlos Villegas, YPFB Corporation's president who also took part in the forum, said the drilling on La Paz department's first well is expected to begin at the end of this year.
"In La Paz, we have a plan that began two years ago," said Villegas. "We have finished the seismic phase and identified the drill site in central Lliquimuni."
Construction of a roadway and other preparations have also been made, "therefore, we plan to begin drilling in Lliquimuni, in La Paz department, in the second half of December and we expect positive results by December of 2014," Villegas said.
A preliminary report from YPFB Petroandina revealed a potential existence of 50 million barrels of oil and one trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Lliquimuni.