The project to exploit gas at the Boyuy field in Bolivia has failed. According to the former Hydrocarbons Minister, Alvaro Rios, the 8,000-metre-deep well contains gas, but its exploitation would not be profitable. There will be new perforations and more tests to find new gas reserves in the country. Spanish Repsol now focuses its attention on starting to drill the well Boicobo, which is located in the Caipipendi block where the Boyuy well is also seated. The Spanish company plans to work in another deep well located in the Margarita block in 2020.
The investment the Bolivian Central Bank (BCB) made with the international reserves abroad were more profitable than the return obtained for lending money to state companies in Bolivia, said the international financial affairs expert, Jaime Dunn. He added that in 2018, BCB’s investment in different portfolios abroad had a return of $149 million or 2.13%, while the loans to state companies had a return of 0.62%.
The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) reported that 20% of the Net International Reserves (RIN) are in gold and 53% in US dollars. According to the institution, the reserves have been invested mostly in Europe (50%), followed by the United States, South Korea and China. “The stock of gold reserves reaches 42.9 tonnes, which represents 20% of international reserves and are invested in high-quality financial institutions,” said BCB’s senior economic policy advisor, Raúl Mendoza.
Bolivia and Argentina signed an agreement to allow oil exploration and exploitation in the Amazon region. Bolivia’s YPFB and Argentina’s YPF signed will work together the next two months to develop a plan and initiate the technical evaluation to allow the oil activity in the Madre de Dios basin in Bolivia’s Amazonian territory.
The excess of rainfall and the high concentration of magnesium and potassium in brine are two of the challenges for efficient exploitation of lithium in Bolivia, according to the Earth Observatory, an institute dependent on the National Administration of the Space and Aeronautics (NASA). According to the institute, these two factors added costs to the exploitation of lithium and make it less competitive to the lithium produced in Argentina and Chile.
The absence of labour policy and clear rules for private investments are the main reasons stopping the arrival of fresh capital for sectors that demand skilled labour. The Millennium Foundation noted that for example in the mining sector, Bolivia has become less and less competitive. The think tank said that Bolivia is in position 74 (of 83) in the Attracting Investment Index.
The management of alternative ports such as Ilo in Peru and those over the Tamengo channel on the Paraguay-Parana waterway begin to impact on the cargo flow over the Chilean port of Arica. According to PortalPortuario.cl, Arica managed 103.688 tonnes less of Bolivian cargo in the first quarter of 2019. According to Empresa Portuaria Arica, the Chilean port managed 470,227 tonnes in the first three months of 2019, while in the same period of 2018 it mobilised 573,915 tonnes.
Bolivia and Paraguay aim to invest $1 billion to boost trade through the Paraguay – Parana Waterway. During a ceremony to create a Bi-national Commerce Chamber, the Paraguayan Ambassador in Bolivia, Terumi Matsuo de Claverol, that there are high expectations among the private and public sector to increase the development of both countries. The president of the Bolivian Chamber of Commerce, Rolando Kempf, said that the collaboration between Paraguay and Bolivia will help to balance the trade between the two countries.
Bolivia and China signed an agreement to commercialise Bolivian meat in the Asia country. President Morales announced that Bolivia’s Foreign Minister, Diego Pary, went to China to sign the agreement. He added that Pary will also sign an agreement with Chinese President of Customs to facilitate the shipments of Bolivian meat to China.
Highways projects, agriculture expansion, cattle industry, dams and hydroelectric projects are increasingly threatened the Amazonian forest in Bolivia. Since 2016 deforestation in Bolivia reached 300.000 hectares. According to ERBOL radio, between 2005 and 2010 60% of Bolivia’s deforestation was caused by cattle activities. The meat export projects to China and Vietnam will increase the impact. The production of biofuel will also impact on Bolivian Forests, according to former Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon, the objective of producing 380 million litres of ethanol by 2025 will imply an expansion of sugar plantations from 150.000 to 305.000 hectares. This means that the expansion of the agricultural border will double the annual deforestation in the country.