Bolivia is expanding its natural gas market in Latin America by exporting to its northern neighbor, Peru.
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Peru is now the fourth South American country that Bolivia is exporting its refined and contained natural gas to, after Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
President Evo Morales made the official announcement late last week saying that his is the first Bolivian administration that has exported refined and contained gas, rather than importing the energy source.
"We no longer import LPG (liquid petroleum gas). I want you to know that when we entered office in 2005, (Bolivia) only exported natural gas and imported LPG. We imported contained gas,” said Morales Thursday.
The vast majority of households and business across Latin America depend on 22 kg canisters of processed natural gas (LPG) to heat and fuel their homes and buildings, since there usually aren't direct-to-home public distribution pipelines.
“I could never understand how Bolivia, a producer of gas could import (processed gas)” stressed the head of state who is heading into a third run as president.
“Now we are exporting LPG to Argentina, Brazil, … Paraguay and now to Peru,” said the president.
Morales added that Paraguay imports 95 percent of its gas, a nationalized natural resource, from his country, which has allowed his administration to industrialize, and now export gas, not just by pipeline, but in containers to neighboring countries, said Morales.
"In response to the demand we are preparing to provide this service in the Peruvian highlands," said the Bolivian leader.
Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sanchez, stated that his Peruvian counterpart will arrive in Bolivia in the coming days to negotiate the possible purchase of gas for two cities in Peru that border Bolivia.
"Peru’s minister is coming so that we can negotiate a deal to have a gas supply to two important cities in southern Peru," Sanchez told reporters last week.
Morales assured that "now we are going to export to other countries", in reference to Peru, to bring home gas service to areas of that country, among which he mentioned Puno and Ilo, where the governors have expressed interest.
Bolivia’s nationalized petroleum company, Petroleros of Bolivia (YPFB) already produces about 59 million cubic meters of gas per day from its reserves that number as much as 11 trillion cubic feet, according to its Ministry of Hydrocarbons, making it one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world.