Paperwork Pushes Bolivian Gas Exports Back to May 31

Bolivia has delayed starting gas exports to Argentina until the week of May 31 because the exporters, Petrolera Andina and Petrobras Bolivia, have not presented their contracts to the hydrocarbons regulator, a spokesperson for Bolivia's hydrocarbons ministry told BNamericas.

Andina and Petrobras were scheduled to start exports on May 22, but the companies are supposed to submit copies of their contracts with state oil company YPFB to the regulator and they had not done so by the weekend. The companies "are still defining some details of the contracts and the last report from the president of YPFB explained that the contracts will be ready on Thursday or Friday, then they have to be signed in Buenos Aires," the spokesperson said. That means exports would "probably" begin on Monday (May 31), the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson would not say what details are being discussed, but newswire EFE quoted government officials as saying the delay is due to "bureaucratic questions."

The price will be US$0.98/mBTU for dry gas and US$1.30/mBTU for wet gas, in line with a bi-national agreement between the two countries, the spokesperson said.

Andina would export 3 million cubic meters a day (mcm/d), while Petrobras would export 1mcm/d. The Bolivian government agreed to export 4mcm/d to Argentina for six months, to help relieve its neighbor's gas crisis on the condition that "not one molecule" of the gas be re-routed to Chile.

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