By Andres Schipani
Bolivia, a key supplier of gas to the southern half of Latin America, is facing potentially harder times as falling international oil prices are piling downward pressure onto the price at which it sells its gas.
However, Carlos Villegas, the president of the state-run energy company, YPFB, is confident that if oil prices continue to hover around their current levels of $82 a barrel, Bolivia can avoid having to cut the prices of its exported natural gas.
“For Bolivia if the oil price lies in the range of between $80 and $100, the prices for [gas] exports will remain at their current level,” says Villegas.
Thanks to take-or-pay contracts, Bolivia currently ships about 30m cubic meters a day (mcm/d) of natural gas to Brazil at some $8.9 per million British thermal units (mmbtu), and 16mcm/d to Argentina at $10.2 per mmbtu.