The Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, stated today, May 5, that Brazil may stop importing Bolivian natural gas if the price of the product is raised excessively, in consequence of the country’s decision to nationalize petroleum and natural gas resources.
"I have no idea of the percentages. I believe that this is not up to us (in the Ministry of Foreign Relations). The definition is up to Petrobras and the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The problem right now is that, if prices are increased excessively, Bolivian gas will become an impossibility," according to Amorim.
"The only reason this gas is sold in Brazil is that the price is competitive with fuel oil, bottled gas, and other energy sources. The matter of prices has to do with this."
At Thursday’s, May 4, meeting in Puerto Iguazú, where Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio da Silva met with the presidents of Bolivia, Evo Morales, Argentina, Nestor Kirchner, and Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, the supply of gas to Brazil was guaranteed. The decision regarding prices was left for next week.
Two days ago, in an interview with the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI), Morales stated that the price of exported gas had to be raised.
"Yes, Brazil and Argentina must pay more for the gas they buy. According to the agreement, the prices should have been readjusted in 2004. I am sorry that the governments didn’t take care of this then," the Bolivian president commented.