Pemex, YPFB Start Negotiations for Strategic Natgas Partnership

Mexico's state oil company Pemex and Bolivia's state oil firm YPFB have started negotiations to create a strategic partnership for natural gas exploration, production and industrialization, a Mexican energy ministry spokesperson told BNamericas, confirming local press reports.

Mexico's energy minister Fernando Canales met on Thursday with Bolivia's hydrocarbons minister Andres Soliz and YPFB president Jorge Alvarado to update the bilateral cooperation agreement between the two countries signed in May 2004, the spokesperson said.

The two countries agreed to create technical working commissions to analyze bilateral energy issues.

Canales expressed his government's interest in importing natural gas from Bolivia as well as participating in exploration and development projects in Bolivia's hydrocarbons sector, according to press reports.

YPFB is waiting for the new government of President Evo Morales to announce a natural gas nationalization decree before completing formal bilateral negotiations with Pemex, the spokesperson said.

Bolivia has some 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, the second largest in Latin America after Venezuela.

Canales was scheduled to meet with Peruvian energy officials on Friday as part of his visit to South America.

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