Russia’s Gazprom to Buy Stake in Total’s Bolivian Gas Fields

Russia’s Gazprom OAO will buy a 20 percent stake in Total SA’s gas fields in Bolivia, the Andean country’s government said.

Bolivia’s Congress late yesterday passed a bill authorizing the contract change for the Ipati and Aquio fields with the aim of starting production by the end of 2016, Energy Minister Juan Jose Sosa said today in an e-mailed statement.

Total will retain 60 percent ownership in the fields, while a unit of Argentina’s Techint Group holds 20 percent, Sosa said.

Charles-Etienne Lebatard, a Total spokesman, and Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov didn’t immediately return telephone calls seeking comment outside business hours.