Bolivia's new oil discovery triples reserves

Jun 19, 2015 12:00 AM

Bolivia makes first oil discovery in two decades, increasing reserves from 16 million to 44 million barrels.

Bolivia has tripled its oil reserves, President Evo Morales announced Thursday, after state-owned energy company YPFB made a significant oil discovery in the eastern department of Santa Cruz.
"This oil reserve marks the first new discovery in 23 years. This is an example of the positive outcomes from nationalization. With this reserve we now have 44 million barrels of oil reserves,” announced Morales.
Morales estimated that over the next decade, the new oil field would generate US$383 million in government revenue and would translate into US$917 million worth of savings due to the ending of various subsidies.
During his speech, the Bolivian leader went on to criticize foreign nongovernmental organizations that aim to obstruct natural resource exploration projects. “It is unacceptable to me that there are NGOs and foundations operating under the pretext of defending the indigenous movement. I want to make it clear that NGOs and foundations that obstruct natural resource exploration must leave Bolivia,” Morales stated.
According to company officials, YPFB is planning to invest a total of US$3 billion in Bolivia from 2015-2019 towards oil exploration projects. Due to increased revenues from gas and oil exports, the Bolivian government has since 2006 dramatically increased social spending in the area of health, education, pensions, and poverty alleviation programs by 45 percent.

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