Brazil’s state oil company Petrobras confirmed that the Bolivian state oil company (YPFB) has already paid the fine for breaching the gas supply for nine months during the 2018 administration. The company declined to specify the figures, although it is unofficially known that the amount total reaches more than 133 million dollars. Three analysts consulted: Álvaro Ríos, Bernardo Prado and Hugo del Granado agreed that there are great losses for the State because Bolivia does not have the capacity to comply with the contracts.
The construction market came to a standstill and the trend could continue for the next three years. A census conducted by Captura Consulting, commissioned by the Urban Observatory (OBU) of the Construction Chamber of Santa Cruz (Cadecocruz), reveals a stagnation of the sector that in 2018 maintained the levels of 2017, and in fact decreased by 0, 3%. The same study argues that the real estate market is in clear slowdown, 66% of the people surveyed, indicated that they do not intend to buy a house in the next three years. The reason? the economic situation that the country is going through. The study reflects the uncertainty that exists in the country in a politically charged year due to the presidential elections in October. Economic activity is cooling because sales have fallen in several sectors. The study clarifies that the situation is temporary as long as it is not clear what will happen in the political context.
Bolivia’s deputy Foreign Minister Carmen Almendras reported that the goal for this year is the signing of at least 40 bilateral cooperation instruments to strengthen cooperation with countries in the region and the rest of the world. The objective is to deepen “complementary cooperation”, mainly aimed at the transfer of technology that contributes to the change of the productive matrix and industrialization.
According to the analyst Guillermo Torres Orías, the fine of Petrobras SA to YPFB due to the non-fulfilment in the delivery of gas volumes guaranteed in the GSA throughout 2018 is a consequence of a bad policy applied to the sector and worse long-term planning. The decision making in the hydrocarbons activity must have been of economic efficiency within the limits imposed by the technology and the energy security of the country. The State is responsible for ensuring the continuity of supply and long-term energy security, therefore, it must have built the systems to fulfil this responsibility. In the case of the original contract with Argentina, the addendums that reduce the amounts of gas guaranteed before paying fines for non-compliance confirm the fragility of the delivery schedule in relation to the country’s incremental production capacity. A delivery schedule such as the one negotiated would not have been acceptable, if a correct long-term planning was made in the production of the fields, considering the growing demands of natural gas in the domestic market and the amounts committed in the contract that was already in force with Brazil.
Organisations from France, Russia, China, Spain, South Korea, Japan and India expressed their interest in building a prospecting satellite for Bolivia. Within this context, the head of the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) affirmed that India would be a “good” partner to develop technological entrepreneurship. He added that President Evo Morales has a “keen” interest for Bolivia to having a satellite to prospect natural resources.
Mining operators in Bolivia have to pay their 2019 and 2020 patent, or they risk to lose their concessions. The license is an annual legal requirement through which mining operators pay in advance to carry out their activities.
Last week Petrobras imposed a fine on Bolivia because during some months of last year the Bolivian state oil company (YPFB) sent only 22.6 million cubic meters (mcm) of gas when the demand was 26 mcm. The Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) signed with Brazil in 1996 – that expires this year- establishes a minimum purchase volume of 24 mcm of gas and maximum delivery of 30.08 mcm. If 1.5 mcm of fuel gas were included, a total of 31.5 mcm should be sent.
“A multi-point agreement has been signed, including the exploitation of Bolivian lithium, due to India’s interest in buying lithium carbonate, as well as a possible partnership to build a lithium-battery plant in India, ” announced Bolivia’s state lithium company (YLB) CEO, Juan Carlos Montenegro. The idea of the lithium-battery plant is still in a macro plan that should be worked on in the coming months.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) raised the growth projection for Bolivia from 4.3% to 4.4%, which means that the country will head the list of nations with the highest growth in the region, in 2019.
President Evo Morales confirmed yesterday, that the Government of India is willing to invest U$D 13 billion in Bolivia’s hydrocarbons sector. The statement was announced during an act in the city of Cobija, Pando.
The Head of State referred to this achievement after the first meeting he held with the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in the city of Santa Cruz, on March 29.
During the meeting between the two leaders, a Joint Declaration was approved and eight complementary agreements were signed, that will benefit both countries. According to Morales, the areas covered the health, lithium and hydrocarbons sectors.