Bolivia expects extra demand of gas during the winter

Mar 10, 2008 01:00 AM

During the winter months of June, July and August, the demand for natural gas in Bolivia’s domestic market rises by an additional 1 mm cmpd, and directly affects exports to the neighbouring Argentine market, announced Bolivia’s vice president Alvaro Garcia Linera.
“The Bolivian market requires an additional 1 mm cmpd of natural gas to meet rising demand related to the winter months,” said Garcia.

The Bolivian government is trying to push for increased energy conservation this winter in a move to reduce energy demand. By reducing the internal consumption of energy during the coming winter months, the Bolivian government hopes to reduce the amount of natural gas that is normally consumed; thus, reducing the magnitude of a possible “energy crisis.”
The production of natural gas within Bolivia is around 40-42 mm cmpd while the domestic market consumes about 6 mm cmpd. Another 1 mm cmpd is consumed by the petroleum companies with operations in the country. Brazil consumes about 31-32.2 mm cmpd and the remaining 2-3 mm cmpd is consumed by Argentina.

When internal consumption within Bolivia rises to about 7 mm cmpd the country reduces its natural gas exports to Argentina to about 1-2 mm cmpd despite contractual agreements between the two countries. The governments of Bolivia and Argentina signed a gas supply agreement which establishes that the former must export at a minimum 60 % of the 7.7 mm cmpd of contracted volumes to Argentina.
"There is not a problem for Bolivia’s internal market since the first priority is to satisfy internal demand with our production and then the export markets,” said Garcia. “The real problem has to do with the left-over volumes and increased demand for more volumes in Argentina.”

Bolivian laws stipulate that the top three priorities for Bolivia natural gas are
1) the internal market,
2) Brazil (gas supply agreement with the city of Sao Paulo) and
3) the Argentina market and in this order.
“Bolivian laws establish that all supplies must first be utilized to satisfy demand in the internal market,” added Garcia. “Therefore, the state oil company, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), and other petroleum companies are obligated to guarantee the internal market before supplying other export markets.”

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