Bolivia to increase natural gas exports to Argentina
April 21, 2009
Bolivia will increase natural gas exports to neighboring Argentina to at least 4 million cubic meters a day during the Southern Hemisphere winter, according to Reuters. Argentina, along with Brazil, are the top buyers of natural gas from Bolivia, home to the second-largest natural gas reserves in South America after Venezuela. Last year, Bolivia exported some 30 million cubic meters of natural gas a day to Brazil, but Brazilian demand has fallen off in recent months as heavy rainfall has made hydroelectricity cheaper. Brazil has trimmed its imports to around 20 million cubic meters a day. Argentina and Brazil have contracts to import up to 30 million cubic feet a day and up to 7.7 million cubic feet a day respectively. Leftist President Evo Morales nationalized the energy industry in 2006 and raised taxes on foreign energy companies operating in the country including Brazil''s Petrobras, Spain''s Repsol and France''s Total. The impoverished country exported over $3 billion worth of natural gas to Argentina and Brazil in 2008.