Bolivia Taking Majority Control of Repsol Unit

NEW YORK, May 1, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Two years after announcing a campaign to nationalize its energy sector, Bolivia's government is in the process of purchasing majority stakes in local affiliates of foreign oil companies operating in the country, Bolivia's top energy official announced Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

One of the deals would give Bolivia's state-run energy company YPBF a stake of 50% plus one share in Andina, the local affiliate of Spain's Repsol (REP), said Bolivia's energy minister Carlos Villegas.

Local press reports say the government will confirm later Thursday similar deals to take over a local affiliate of British Petroleum (BP) as well as the oil and gas pipeline company Transredes, controlled by the UK's Ashmore Energy International.

There are no details regarding the transaction. The government made an announcement Thursday by publishing ads in the largest newspapers.

President Evo Morales is expected to make an announcement later Thursday. This May 1, International Workers's Day, marks the deadline to reach an agreement with foreign energy companies in Bolivia after the first decree to nationalize energy resources in 2006.

NEW YORK, May 1, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

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