Bolivia: Four Companies Operating Under New Contracts

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Four of the 12 hydrocarbons companies that signed contracts with Bolivia's government are operating under the new deals, according to hydrocarbons and energy minister Carlos Villegas.

The government forced foreign companies to sign the contracts - of which 37 are for production and seven for exploration - to give the state a larger take of hydrocarbons assets as part of President Evo Morales' nationalization program.

"The companies carrying out exploration work at the moment are Pluspetrol, Chaco, Vintage and Repsol and they are even sending out additional gas volumes," government news agency ABI quoted Villegas as saying.

The new contracts came into effect on May 2 and the companies have until end-August to migrate to the new contracts or face the rescinding of their contracts.

Bolivia's hydrocarbons ministry expects income for the country as a result of the new contracts to reach US$2 billion in 2007, up from US$1.30 billion last year, BNamericas reported previously.

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