Bolivia's state energy company YPFB signed five deals to expand oil and gas exploration with Brazil's Petrobras, British energy firm, British Gas (BG) and the YPFB Chaco subsidiary on Wednesday (October 23).

The contracts were signed at the presidential palace in the presence of Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Liners as well as the companies' presidents.

YPFB identified 18 oil and gas wells to be explored in 2014 which British Gas Bolivia President, Orlando Vaca said would benefit the country and the Bolivian people as a whole.

YPFB President, Carlos Villegas said the deals were part of government plans to expand oil and gas production in the landlocked country.

Bolivia's consumption of natural gas has been steadily increasing in recent years and is only is expected to continue upward in coming years.

The South American country is also dependent on gas exports to neighbours Argentina and Brazil. Bolivia has proven natural gas reserves of 11.2 trillion cubic feet (TCF), according to YPFB.

Presented by Adam Justice