Echo has just announced that it has signed, with Pluspetrol and YPFB the state company a Technical Evaluation Agreement (TEA) for the Rio Salado block, onshore Bolivia. Echo are out in Bolivia at the prestigious YPFB Gas & Oil Congress in Santa Cruz where a number of agreements have been signed notably between Bolivia and Paraguay to collaborate on gas sales and pipelines. This TEA will enable the companies to progress a technical evaluation of the block over the next 12 months. When that is completed and if all is looking good, the parties will be able to propose a commercial agreement to YPFB to define a work programme and ‘is likely to include the drilling of an exploration well’.
The Rio Salado block surrounds the Huayco block where Echo has identified a structure and contains an extension of it, accordingly their seismic reprocessing programme will be extended for ‘ a minimal incremental cost’ over the Greater Huayco area. It should be remembered that at present Echo has not confirmed commercial terms in Rio Salado and so doesnt have a firm right during the evaluation period. Having said that the company is clearly delighted with the signing of such an agreement in the area and is pleased to have got underway with the second of ‘many pre-identified strategic transactions in Bolivia’ and indicates that there is much more to come.
You can hear Fiona McAulay (CEO) speak to oil analyst Malcolm Graham-Wood