The Bolivian Government has made a new natural gas discovery, following the drilling of a new onshore well, amid a fall in hydrocarbon production.

Located in the Margarita-Huacaya field, in the departments of Chuquisaca and Tarija, the new Margarita 10 well has potential reserves of approximately 300-350 billion cubic feet (8.5-9.9 billion cubic metres), reported Reuters.

The new Repsol E&P-operated well is expected to commence production in June 2022.

Bolivian President Luis Arce said: “I can now safely tell you that this well has a production potential of three million cubic metres per day.”

The new discovery will help Bolivia meet its export contracts with Argentina and Brazil.

Well production is expected to generate oil revenues of more than $260m annually for the state while boosting investment possibilities in areas such as economic reactivation and health.

The Margarita-Huacaya field is operated by Repsol and other firms through concessions granted by the Bolivian state-owned oil company YPFB.

YPFB president Armin Dorgathen said: “YPFB, in its technical role, and with the greatest responsibility, has taken all precautions to confirm this good news for the Bolivian people.”

Dorgathen added: “YPFB and Repsol make their best efforts to make this production available to the markets in the shortest time possible.”

According to data from the Hydrocarbons Ministry, gas production in the country reduced from 61 million cubic metres in 2014, to approximately 45 million cubic metres per day in 2021, reported Reuters.

There are many onshore and offshore gas fields in Bolivia, including the Margarita-Huacaya complex conventional gas field.