Bolivia earns $16 billion since nationalising energy

May 19, 2013

Bolivia has earned more than US$16 billion from the energy industry since President Evo Morales nationalised the sector in 2006, Spanish newsagency EFE reported government officials as saying.

EFE reported that hydrocarbons minister Juan Jose Sosa said: “Seven years before the nationalisation, from 1999 to 2005, the state received around $2 billion. After these seven years, the state received more than $16 billion.”

EFE said: “Morales issued an executive order on May 1, 2006, nationalising the seven oil companies, the majority of them foreign firms, operating in Bolivia.”

The government also later acquired stakes in Spain’s Repsol and Brazil’s Petrobras. It forced other companies, such as Argentina’s Pluspetrol and France’s Total to negotiate new contracts.

“Energy industry investment nearly tripled from $1.86 billion in the five-year period before nationalisation to $5.24 billion in the 2006-2012 period, state-owned oil company YPFB said.”

YPFB CEO Carlos Villegas said natural gas production nearly doubled over the past seven years from 35 million cubic metres a day to 60 million cubic metres a day.

EFE said the government also plans to fulfill another promise made by Morales before taking office in 2006, by opening a facility to put Bolivia’s vast natural gas resources to industrial uses.

“A plant that will separate the gas liquids exported to Brazil will open on May 10 in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, the YPFB CEO said.”

[For more Bolivia news, visit Bolivia Rising.]

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