April 27, 2017 / 12:54 AM / a year ago

Bolivia annuls $149 mln contract with Italy's Drillmec

LA PAZ, April 26 (Reuters) - Bolivia’s state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) annulled a $149 million contract for drilling equipment with Italian manufacturer Drillmec, a YPFB executive said on Wednesday.

The move came after investigators in Bolivia’s Energy Ministry raised allegations last month of irregularities in the bidding process for the contract for drilling equipment, which Drillmec won in February. Fifteen YPFB officials, including the vice president, were suspended over the deal.

YPFB President Guillermo Acha said in a Wednesday press conference that the company had notified Drillmec and was awaiting an official response. Drillmec, owned by oil services company Trevi Finanziaria Industriale SPA, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last week, Drillmec issued a statement saying the process had been transparent and demanding that the government honor the contract. (Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Bill Trott)

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