November 24, 2017 / 3:36 AM / a year ago

Gazprom in talks to sell gas to Bolivia's neighbors: Russian minister

SANTA CRUZ (Reuters) - Russian gas giant Gazprom is in talks with Bolivia’s YPFB to possibly sell Bolivian gas to neighboring countries in Latin America, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday, raising hopes for an expansion in markets for the landlocked supplier.

Bolivian YPFB (Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos) President Oscar Barriga and Russia's GAZPROM Director Andrey Fick pose after signing an agreement during the Gas Exporting Countries Forum Summit in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/David Mercado

“The possibility of Gazprom selling Bolivian gas to neighbors seems very promising,” Novak said, speaking through a translator at a gathering of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Santa Cruz without providing further detail.

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The move would be a boon for state-run YPFB, which could benefit from more customers, and is seeking to draw further investment into the flagging gas industry as proven reserves have plunged over the last decade.

Bolivian Energy Minister Luis Sanchez said so far 29 companies have expressed interest in 80 gas blocks offered by the country.

Production at the Incahuasi gas field - which is being developed by Gazprom, France’s Total, YPFB and Tecpetrol - should reach 11 million cubic meters per day soon, Sanchez added, without giving further details.

Reporting by Marianna Parraga, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Richard Pullin

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