Bolivia claims to have enough gas for the domestic market and to sell to Argentina and Brazil

Bolivia claims to have enough gas for the domestic market and to sell to Argentina and Brazil
Bolivia claims to have enough gas for the domestic market and to sell to Argentina and Brazil

The state Bolivian Fiscal Oil Fields (YPFB) has assured that, although the country’s natural gas production decreasedhe energetic It is enough to cover its internal demand and its export commitments to Argentina and Brazil.

“Our domestic market and export commitment to Brazil and Argentina is fully guaranteed with the production we have today,” the president of YPFB told the media, Armin Dorgathen.

Dorgathen referred to the matter regarding the controversy raised by the recent statements of the Bolivian president, Luis Arceabout the country not having the income it had before because “the gas has run out.”

Bolivian gas

The owner of YPFB explained that the internal demand for natural gas, including provision for domestic consumption and supply to industries and thermoelectric generation, amounts to between 12 and 13 million cubic meters per day (MMmcd) of the hydrocarbon.

“The production we have today is three times greater than that internal consumption,” said Dorgathen and assured that, even without seeking new reserves, Bolivia can cover that demand and also comply with its contracts with the Brazilian Petrobras and the Argentine Enarsa.

Arce’s statements about natural gas, which are not new, were the subject of criticism from opposition politicians and also from the former president and leader of the government Movement towards Socialism (MAS). Evo Morales (2006-2019), which is distanced from the Government.

Dorgathen pointed out that it is “totally true” that income decreased because the country has “less gas production” and justified that what President Arce said is part of the Government’s “transparency” policy regarding information on the hydrocarbon area.

According to the manager, “there will not be a shortage of gas,” but so that energy “does not run out” in the long term, exploration is necessary.

He recalled that the Bolivian oil company has been developing exploratory projects since 2021, although he insisted that if this work to find new deposits had been done in 2015, the country would be “in a different situation.”

He also explained that between this year and next the results of the drilling of exploratory wells will be known and that the effective impact on production will be seen between 2027 and 2028.

At least in the last two decades, natural gas was Bolivia’s star export product and the support of its economic growth, with Brazil and Argentina as the main markets, but in recent years there has been a decrease in production and income.

Natural gas production went from 56.6 MMmcd in 2016, with an oil income of 1,639 million euros (at today’s exchange rate), to 31.9 MMmcd in 2023, reaching an income of 1,912 million euros, according to official information released Last December.

Dorgathen announced that “in the coming days” the data on the certification of gas reserves for 2022 and 2023 will be released and assured that 80% of YPFB’s investment budget “is focused on exploration and exploitation.”

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