Echo Energy, the South and Central American focused upstream gas company, announced the signature of a Technical Evaluation Agreement (TEA) for the Rio Salado Block, onshore Bolivia.

The TEA between the Company, Pluspetrol and YPFB (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos) was signed on 25 July 2017 at the YPFB 2017 Gas & Oil Congress in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This agreement will enable the companies to progress a technical evaluation of the block over the next 12 months. On completion of the Technical Evaluation the companies will have the opportunity to negotiate a commercial agreement with YPFB which would define a work programme and is likely to include the drilling of an exploration well.
The Rio Salado Block, which surrounds the Huyaco Block, contains an extension of the structure previously identified by the Company. As a result, the Company's seismic reprocessing programme for the Huayco Block will now be extended to incorporate additional data over the Rio Salado acreage for a minimal incremental cost over the greater Huayco area.

The acquisition of an interest by Echo Energy in Rio Salado remains contingent on final commercial terms being agreed and accordingly the Company does not have an interest or the right to acquire any interest at this stage during the non-exclusive evaluation period. 

Fiona MacAulay, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"We are delighted to announce the signature of the Technical Evaluation Agreement, further strengthening our relationship with our partner Pluspetrol and YPFB, the state oil company in Bolivia. This agreement enables the Company to evaluate the highly prospective and potentially multi TCF exploration area which extends around the Huayco block. This is the second of many pre-identified strategic transactions in Bolivia demonstrating Echo's ability to move quickly and deliver on its stated strategy. This is an exciting time for the Company and I look forward to updating the market in due course.