On 15 June, Bolivian President Evo Morales accepted the oath of office of the new head of the state-owned oil and gas company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), according to the official website of the organization. Evo Morales named Oscar Barriga Arteaga as the new head of the company. He has previously served as Deputy Minister of Hydrocarbons of Bolivia.
Commenting on the appointment, Evo Morales called on the current head of YPFB for a detailed review of company's purchasing procedures, as well as the introduction of austerity regime against the backdrop of falling oil prices. In addition, the objectives of the new leader include attracting investments in the oil and gas sector and increasing hydrocarbon production.
In turn, Oscar Barriga thanked the head of state for the vote of confidence and promised that he would use his background experience and technical knowledge for the development of the company and the energy sector as the main growth area of Bolivia's national economy.
The new president of YPFB was born in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the east of the country. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, and has studied quality management in the field of oil exploration and production. He has previously worked for YPFB as director of marketing, transportation and storage of oil and gas in the Ministry of Hydrocarbons. He is the co-chairman of the Russian-Bolivian intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation.
Oscar Barriga succeeded Guillermo Acha Morales as the president of YPFB, who has held this post since February 2015.
Bolivia ranks third in Latin America in proven natural gas reserves volume (about 300 billion cubic meters) and hydrocarbon production (over 20 billion cubic meters per year).
In Bolivia, Gazprom is represented by Gazprom International, the sole company of the Group specializing in prospecting, exploration and development of oil and gas reserves outside the Russian Federation. The company has representative offices in the cities of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and La Paz.
The largest Gazprom project in Bolivia is the development of the Incahuasi gas condensate field that produces more than seven million cubic meters of gas per day. Fuel is supplied to the domestic market and is also exported to Argentina and Brazil. In addition, YPFB is implementing an exploration project in the area of Azero in cooperation with the French company Total.
In 2016, a number of documents were signed in the aims of expanding cooperation between Gazprom and Bolivia in the energy sector.
This year Oscar Barriga joined the Bolivian delegation, visited the SPIEF, and held talks with the management of Gazprom International.