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Brazil's Petrobras resumes Bolivia exploration

Brazil's Petrobras resumes Bolivia exploration

Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras is pledging to spend US$1 billion on Bolivian oil and gas projects _ making it the first foreign energy company to invest in Bolivia since President Evo Morales nationalized the industry in 2006.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Latin America's biggest publicly traded oil company, plans to develop Bolivia's two biggest natural gas fields, among other projects, said Claudio Castejon, Petrobras' top executive in Bolivia. The company should have its first new exploratory well up and running in Bolivia by November, he said Wednesday.
Brazil is the biggest market for Bolivian natural gas, buying an average 30 million cubic meters a day from its neighbor to fuel its booming economy.
Petrobras and at least 11 other multinational oil and gas companies were forced to hand over majority stakes in their Bolivian fields and refineries when Morales nationalized his nation's energy sector in May 2006.
Companies once kept the oil and gas they produced, paying a percentage to Bolivia's government, but now take a fee for their services while oil and gas belongs to the state.
Affected companies, including Madrid-based Repsol YPF SA, have in the past expressed interest in resuming investment, but Petrobras is the first to pledge a specific amount of cash. Overall foreign investment in Bolivia's energy sector fell in the months following nationalization.


Updated : 2021-05-06 16:05 GMT+08:00