Morales to Seek New YPFB Partners, LatAm Markets

Bolivia's President Evo Morales in August will travel to the Middle East to seek strategic partners for state hydrocarbons company YPFB, government news agency ABI reported.

Morales plans to visit countries including Algeria, Iran, Libya and Qatar, along with Russia.

The aim of the trip is for Bolivia to be able no longer just to export raw resources but to begin a process of industrialization to add value, Bolivia's hydrocarbons and energy minister Carlos Villegas said.

Last month, Bolivia's government issued supreme decree 29130 that allows YPFB to join up with state companies from around the world for E&P through JVs. YPFB will have a 51% stake in these JVs and control management and administration.


The minister also said Bolivia aims to increase interaction with Argentina and Brazil and other countries in the region including Paraguay, Uruguay and even Chile, with which it has been at loggerheads over sovereign sea access.

Argentina, Brazil and Chile need Bolivian hydrocarbons, according to Villegas.

Bolivia is mulling whether to sell gas to Chile, possibly in exchange for access to the Pacific Ocean.

"If Bolivia's century-old demand is heard, the problem will be solved and diplomatic relations with Chile reestablished," Villegas said in the ABI article.

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