Bolivia Starts Gas Exports to Argentina

Bolivia started filling a gas pipeline to Argentina on Wednesday (June 2) with an initial volume of 1.4 million cubic meters a day (mcm/d), state oil company YPFB said in a statement.

The pipeline will take about two days to fill, the statement said.

Bolivia's government agreed to export 4mcm/d to Argentina for six months to help relieve its neighbor's gas crisis. According to previous reports, the exporters - units of Spain's Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP) and Brazil's Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) - will export 3mcm/d and 1mcm/d respectively. Some 2 mcm/d of gas will come from existing gas fields, while the other 2mcm/d will come from the new San Alberto field - operated by Petrobras, YPFB's president Jaime Barrenechea said.

Existing fields do not have enough production to meet the entire export requirement, he added. Argentina's gas regulator Enargas and Bolivia's hydrocarbons regulator will monitor the exports to ensure that none of the gas is sold to Chile, Barrenechea said.

The price of the gas will be US$0.98/mBTU for dry gas and US$1.37/mBTU for wet gas, in line with a bi-national agreement between the two countries. Bolivia will receive about US$44mn for the gas over six months, of which the companies will receive US$35mn.

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