Brazil Weans Off Bolivian Gas Looking Elsewhere for Product

Bolivian gas Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva said that Brazil can't depend for its natural gas solely on Bolivia and anticipated that with the recent opening of a liquid gas plant, the fuel can be imported from the Caribbean. Anyhow "we will continue to purchase Bolivian gas until at least 2019."

"We import natural gas from Bolivia but we can't rely on an only country," stated Lula during his radio program "Breakfast with the President."

The president went on to say that a plant for processing liquefied gas was recently inaugurated in Rio do Janeiro and so far 14.5 million cubic meters of gas from Trinidad & Tobago have been processed.

Officials from Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas multinational Petrobras last week met with representatives from Trinidad & Tobago, and revealed that talks for the import of liquefied gas from Algeria, as well as from other countries where the giant company has interests, are "quite advanced."

President Lula described relations with Bolivia as "very good" and said Brazil will continue to purchase gas until 2019, according to what is stipulated in the bilateral contract. Last week, Petrobras was forced to issue a release denying it would "drastically reduce natural gas imports" from Bolivia.

Brazil imports a daily average of 30 million cubic meters of natural gas from Bolivia, but Petrobras officials have cautioned that with the fall of international prices, "the Bolivian product has lost competitiveness."

Lula recalled that back in 2006 when President Evo Morales nationalized the gas industry in Bolivia, "some Brazilians" were demanding strong sanctions against the land-locked country.

However instead of reprisals against La Paz, "I decided to convene the National Policies Council, where we agreed to create a Plan to anticipate natural gas production so that Brazil becomes gas-independent or not only dependent on Bolivia."

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