Bolivia Expects $1.4 Billion in Oil Industry Investment in ‘10

LA PAZ – YPFB and private companies plan to invest $1.41 billion this year to develop the petroleum industry and expand gas supplies for the domestic and foreign markets, the La Razon newspaper reported Monday, citing the top executive of the Bolivian state-owned oil company.

The state-owned company and its subsidiaries will invest $652 million in the industry, with private companies channeling $763 million into energy investments, YPFB chief Carlos Villegas told the newspaper.

Spain’s Repsol YPF plans $239 million in investment, while Petrobras expects to invest $204 million and YPFB-Andina, in which Repsol has a stake, plans $107 million in investment and YPFB-Chaco has plans to invest $87 million in Bolivia this year, the newspaper said.

French oil major Total plans to invest $64 million, Argentina’s Pluspetrol has $18 million in investment slated, Petrobras Energia expects to invest $7 million and U.S.-based Vintage plans $2.5 million in investment.

YPFB approved the investments in the working plans and budgets it discussed with the private companies during negotiations that started in September and ended Dec. 18, La Razon said.

Oil companies invested $576 million in Bolivia last year, a figure that was up 65 percent from the $349 million invested in 2008.

YPFB began running the oil industry following the nationalization decreed by President Evo Morales in 2006 and manages five companies that came under state control.

The government plans to invest $11 billion over the next seven years to develop oil and gas production.

Bolivia currently exports gas to Brazil and Argentina, but it wants to expand to other Southern Cone markets. EFE

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune

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