A group of representatives from Gazprom International, headed by Vladimir Kulikov, General Manager of the company’s Bolivian branch, took part in a ceremony to mark the start of drilling for the second borehole in the Incahuasi gas field.
Drilling in the licensed Ipati block in the mountainous Cordillera Province, Santa Cruz Department, began on 26 January and will last approximately 14 months.
The purpose of constructing the Incahuasi‑2 borehole is to confirm that the Incahuasi gas field continues southwards. It is part of a project to explore the licensed blocks Ipati and Aquio, the operator of which is the French oil-and-gas corporation TOTAL.
TOTAL’s subsidiary company, Total E&P Bolivie, began exploring the Ipati and Aquio blocks in 2004, when it discovered the Incahuasi gas field there. Incahuasi covered more than 10 km from northern Aquio to southern Ipati, at depths of approximately 5400-6500 mm.
Drilling of the Incahuasi X‑1 borehole in the northern part of the Ipati area, at a depth of 5600 m, reached the Huamampampa gas formation. In 2011, the Aquio X‑1001 borehole in the Aquio field confirmed the presence of gas at a depth of 5410 m, in the northernmost part of Incahuasi.
In 2010 Gazprom and TOTAL signed an agreement by which part of TOTAL’s stake in the exploration of two licensed fields, Ipati and Aquio, was transferred to Gazprom. After the agreement has been approved by the Bolivian parliament in 2012 Gazprom, whose interests here are represented by Gazprom International, will hold a 20% stake in the project. TOTAL will hold a 60% stake, and Argentina’s Tecpetrol a 20% stake.
Drilling in Ipati involves the use of a DLS 134 rig, with a power of 3000 HP. According to plans, the initial phase will involve the use of 914.4 mm-diameter drill bits, and the completion stage will take place at depths of approximately 6450 m-152.4 mm.