Brazil Preparing NatGas Contingency Plans

Brazil's federal government plans to conclude in 60 days contingency plans in case of natural gas supply problems, a mines and energy ministry spokesperson told BNamericas, confirming local press reports.

"There is no immediate threat of supply problems but the government wants to have this in place if needed," the spokesperson said.

The gas plan will be broader and more coherent than the April 2006 plan that was created when Bolivian gas exports to Brazil fell due to a damaged liquids pipeline in Bolivia. At the time, gas supplies of roughly 40 million cubic meters a day (Mm3/d) dropped 9Mm3/d. The resulting contingency plan included supply cuts to gas-fired power plants, followed by a reduction in supply to industrial users with residential and vehicular natural gas consumers hit last.

Brazil consumes about 41Mm3/d of gas, mostly for industrial use, with 24M-26Mm3/d of that coming from Bolivia. Natural gas represents roughly 7% of Brazil's energy matrix, although experts forecast double-digit growth in demand.


Some indigenous groups in Bolivia are threatening to cut off gas supplies to Brazil this week, reigniting fears in Brazil of supply problems, local press reported.

The indigenous groups want Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) to help invest in "local improvement" projects.

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