Government postpones one more year the certification of gas reserves

In December 2018, the last certification of hydrocarbon reserves was carried out, which revealed that the country had 8.9 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas. In January, the YPFB oil company announced that this data would be known in July and, now, the Ministry of Hydrocarbons responded that it would only be made public in 2024, despite the fact that the law required the Government to update this information every year.

“YPFB clarifies that the quantification and certification of hydrocarbon reserves as of December 31, 2023 will be carried out once this management is concluded, since the acquisition of the data on the behavior of the reservoirs during the aforementioned management must be completed,” it details. the request for a written report (PIE) that the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Franklin Molina, sent to the Legislative Assembly.

However, the president of the Bolivian oil company, Armin Dorgathen, declared on January 20, at the presentation of the 2023 Sectoral Investment Program in Hydrocarbons, that the certification of the reserves would be published in July. “The last certification of reserves that we have shows us 8.79 TCF, as of December 2018. This year we are hiring a company to certify reserves, we hope that by July, approximately, we will have an updated value of these,” said the executive in that chance.

The certification was made by Sproule International Limited. The report from the Ministry of Hydrocarbons shows that there are 8.9 TCF of gas until 2018.

Law 3740 on the Development of the Hydrocarbons Sector establishes that the updating of certified gas and liquid reserves must be done every year closing on December 31. The data must be published until March 31 of the following management as the deadline.

The 2013 certification was submitted with a four-year delay. Law 3740 only allowed a delay in the publication of certified reserves during 2008, when the reserves should have been published until June 30 of that year, which did not happen. Then there was another delay of four years until 2017 and now there is another delay.

In September 2021 it was learned that YPFB launched an international tender to hire a company to quantify and certify natural gas and liquid reserves as of December 31, 2021. In 2020, the Hydrocarbons and YPFB authorities of the transition government reported that the reserves fell to 8.34 TCF. It was based on internal reports and not as a result of international certification.

Former Minister of Hydrocarbons Álvaro Ríos assured that in this case no information is given to the population. “The minister responded (in the PIE) that they are just going to do them and that this is on track. So this is an issue that draws attention because the Hydrocarbons Law to certify reserves annually is not being complied with,” he said.

In March, the oil company reported that gas and liquid production continues to decline and plummeted to 37.9 million cubic meters per day (Mmmcd) and 33,230 barrels per day, respectively, in the main producing fields. This forces the country to continue importing fuels with the consequent loss of RIN.

The official data from YPFB, and processed by the Departmental Center for Monitoring and Fiscalization in Hydrocarbons of the Government of Santa Cruz, reveal that in December 2022 the production of natural gas was 39.2 MMmcd, in January 38.6 MMmcd and in February of 37.9 MMmcd.

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