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Economy & Business - January 2021

ECONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS

BOLIVIA | Natural gas windfall. On 24 December 2020, Bolivia’s President Luis Arce announced the discovery of an estimated 1trn cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas at the Boicobo Sur well in Chuquisaca department. This would increase Bolivia’s proven natural gas reserves (previously estimated at 10.7 TCF), a key source of export revenue for the country, by almost 10%. Exploratory drilling at Boicobo Sur – which is run by Spanish oil company Repsol, along with Bolivia’s state-owned Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) – began in October 2019 and was completed in December 2020. Arce noted that further preparations are still underway, but voiced optimism that natural gas production will begin at Boicobo Sur in December 2021. He described the discovery as a “gift” to the Bolivian people after a difficult year and heralded it as “a positive sign that things will soon change for the better”.

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