PDVSA, YPFB Sign 6 Energy Accords, Earmark US$1.5bn Spending

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA president Rafael Ramirez signed various agreements on Friday with Bolivia's state oil company YPFB president Jorge Alvarado, including one to create the joint venture Petroandina Comercio y Suministro, PDVSA announced.

Bolivia will hold a 51% stake in Petroandina, which plans to open 15 service stations in eight cities for the sale of gasoline, diesel and vehicular natural gas (VNG) as its first project, the statement said.

Venezuela's government proposed the creation of Petroandina, a regional oil and gas scheme in Andean countries, in July 2005.

The two countries will invest at least US$1.5bn in various projects in Bolivia, a spokesperson from Bolivia's energy ministry told BNamericas, confirming local press reports.

Ramirez and Alvarado signed letters of intent for the installation of two natural gas liquids separation plants, which could be operational within two years, the statement said.

Furthermore, the companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the creation of a nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing complex named Fertisur as well as a letter of intent to begin studies for upstream PDVSA activities in Bolivia.

Venezuela will also administer training to 200 Bolivian technicians for the development of technology used by PDVSA's R&D subsidiary Intevep, while also providing education to 250 Bolivian students at the technical school of Venezuela's state petrochemicals firm Pequiven.

All of the agreements were signed under the ALBA framework, which is a scheme proposed by Chavez to counter the US-sponsored trade proposal for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

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