Bolivia’s revenue from natural gas exports will reach this year 2 billion US dollars, which is a billion less that the 3.1 billion reported in 2008, according to the country’s Hydrocarbons Chamber, CBH.
The main cause for the fall in revenue can be attributed to the “price factor” reveals CBH official publication.
Bolivia’s gas is pumped mainly to the industrial heartland of Brazil, Sao Paulo and to a lesser degree to Argentina, the only two country clients for the land-locked country.
Four of the main oil corporations operating in Bolivia include, Brazil’s Petrobras; Spain’s Repsol-YPF; British Gas and TotalfinaElf.
The government owned oil company YPFB is partner of most companies in the country and in several development projects following on the resources nationalization bill of four years ago.
Bolivia’s natural gas prices reached 8 US dollars per million BTU in 2008, but have fallen to 5 US dollars this year. Because of the extraordinary prices for gas last year, hydrocarbons represented 50% of Bolivia’s exports when traditionally they have been in the range of 10% to 15%, according to CBH.
CBH also points out that natural gas dependence “is good in bonanza times” but most harmful when prices and markets contract. With only two country clients Bolivia is most limited as to the re-shipment of the resource to other markets.
Natural gas has become the main export item of Bolivia and a major contributor for the national budget following the nationalization process and new regulations for private corporations involved in the industry.
Bolivia is estimated to have the second largest natural gas reserves of South America behind Venezuela.
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