The impasse that soured relations last week between Bolivia
and Petrobras, the countrys largest foreign investor,
could be cleared up if Bolivia takes the right steps to renew
negotiations, according to a spokesman for the Brazilian oil
and gas company.
For one month, Petrobras has been trying to get
negotiations renewed but Bolivia wont schedule a time
for meeting, a Petrobras spokesman told Emerging
Markets, leaving the door open for further talks on investment
in the country.
Following a breakdown in negot- iations with the government,
Petrobras announced last Wednesday it was suspending plans to
invest $5 billion in the Andean nations gas sector.
Petrobras CEO Jose Sergio Gabrielli spoke out in strong terms.
We are concerned because there is a group of
investments that must be made and the decision process depends
on what is going to happen in Bolivia, Gabrielli told
EFE news agency.
Gabriellis comments were intended to put
pressure on Bolivia to take up negotiations again,
the spokesman said. Petrobras had been negotiating in Bolivia
with the directors of YPFB (Yacimentos Petroliferos Fiscales
Bolivianos), Bolivias state-owned energy firm, until
one month ago.
Gabriellis remarks met with a sharp reply from
Bolivias Hydrocarbons Minister, Andres Soliz-Rada who
called for more cordiality in the
relationship and said the government would not cede to
pressures, O Estado de Sao Paulo reported.
We are the best option in natural gas for Brazil
because we will always be able to offer lower prices than any
other place, Soliz-Rada said.
Petrobras has a contract to purchase natural gas from
Bolivia until 2019, which stipulates that the price of gas can
be reviewed periodically.
Brazil depends on imported gas from Bolivia for 50% of its
natural gas consumption, and pays between $3 and $3.50 per
million cubic feet. The international price of natural gas is
$8 per million cubic feet.
Evo Morales will launch legislation on July 12 to
nationalize the natural resources of the country that include
the second largest natural gas reserves, after those of
Venezuela, in South America.