Despite Privatization Threats Brazil to Invest US$ 5 Bi in Bolivia

Petrobras, Brazil’s government owned oil company is planning to invest US$ 5 billion in the natural gas industry of Bolivia which has the second largest reserves in South America behind Venezuela.

Nestor Cervero, Petrobras international operations manager interviewed by La Razon, one of the most influential newspapers in La Paz, said the investment is being discussed with Bolivia’s resurgent government oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, YPFB.

Petrobras also announced that at the end of February it will be signing several agreements with Bolivia to ensure the supply of natural gas to Brazil, Bolivia’s main client. The package apparently also includes an industrial complex, a petrochemical plant and a fertilizer industry in the border area of both countries.

However Petrobras has given no details of the operation terms, which president Evo Morales anticipated should give Bolivia a bigger share of the country’s energy resources exploitation.

On taking office Mr. Morales assured his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva that his objective was to nationalize Bolivia’s energy industry, but without expropriating or confiscating international corporations’ assets.

Since the mid nineties when Bolivia’s energy resources were opened to international private investment, foreign corporations are estimated to have invested over US$ 3.5 billion in the industry.

But corporations are not enthusiastic about the new rules president Morales has promised to impose, basically recovering the resources for the Bolivian government

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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