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  •  In more than a decade, the state-owned YPFB has become a energy powerhouse in the region.

    In more than a decade, the state-owned YPFB has become a energy powerhouse in the region. | Photo: YPFB

Published 17 June 2019

“New markets are opening for Bolivian gas. We are the energetic heart of the region and with these new agreements, we are ratifying our energy integration that will mean greater income for Bolivians due to the increase in export volumes," Hydrocarbons Minister Luis Sanchez told reporters. 

The Bolivian state-owned oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) and the country’s Ministry of Hydrocarbons signed three memorandums of understanding on Monday with two Peruvian companies and Shell Argentina for the future sale of natural gas. 

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"With this new agreement with private companies of Peru, it is estimated that Bolivia will export 10 million cubic meters [of natural gas] per day. And with Shell Argentina three million cubic meters per day. We guarantee supply for the internal market, but also we expand the external market," Bolivian President Evo Morales said during the event held in the southern city of Tarija.

The agreements establish the intention to supply the Bolivian product to the Peruvian firms Kallpa Generation S.A. and Engie Energy, which have dual generation plants of 1,200 Megawatts (MW) of capacity operating with diesel and, after the subscription of these documents, will operate their combined cycle units with natural gas. 

"We are very interested in studying the possibility of a gas pipeline project from Bolivia to Ilo, that's why we celebrated the signing of the agreement," Vice President of Development of Engie Energy, Vincent Vanderstockt, said.  While a Kallpa Generation representative explained that Peru’s high energy demand in the southern part of the country will be supplied by Bolivia.

“New markets are opening for Bolivian gas. We are the energetic heart of the region and with these new agreements, we are ratifying our energy integration that will mean greater income for Bolivians due to the increase in export volumes," Hydrocarbons Minister Luis Sanchez told reporters. 

 
It has been fundamental to recover our natural resources because we stopped being a beggar State and now we are in Industrialization times.
 

Another agreement was reached with Shell Argentina, whose representative emphasized that the company “considers that natural gas will be an essential part of the future energy matrix,” thus the signing of this MoU is “the initial step to analyze opportunities to make Bolivian gas available and commercialize it in the Argentinian market and in the southern cone.”

The YPFB agreement includes the commercialization of natural gas in other cities of the Southern Cone. 

The South American country is rapidly becoming a leading exporter of gas. Bolivia used to be a net importer of refined gas, used for cooking and heating. However, since nationalization in 2006, the exploratory and productive capacity of YPFB has increased and the country now exports both natural and refined gas to all of its neighbors.

Recently, it was announced that the YPFB will expand and start providing contained gas to much of Southern Peru at low prices. Furthermore, a new pipeline is expected to be built between Bolivia and Paraguay, a country that now imports 95% of its gas from Bolivia. These expansions are due to the industrialization of Bolivia’s natural resources.

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