Bolivia expects to sign an addendum to the gas contract with Brazil by 31 December, before the current contract ends, said the Hydrocarbon Minister, Luis Zamora. In an interview with the newspaper Página Siete, he said the the current reserves of 8.95TCF will allow the country to keep its business with Brazil. He added that the challenge now is to find new reserves.
The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) on Wednesday issued a resolution seeking to give liquidity to the financial system in the short term. One of the measures detailed in the document states that the base rate will be 3% in the auction modality.
Bolivia’s trade deficit reached $748 million, reported the Bolivian Institute of Trade (IBCE). As to October 2019, exports reached $7.3 billion while imports reached $8.1 billion. The main markets for exports were Brazil, Argentina, Japan, India, Colombia and the US. Imports came mainly from China, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, the US, Chile and Japan.
The new Soil Use Plan Act for the department of Beni, in the East of Bolivia, states that 42% of the region’s land will be earmarked for agribusiness. The act, signed by the regional government, has generated several critics, as it prioritises agricultural land and it has not been concerted with the indigenous sector.
The president of state-owned YPFB, José Luis Rivero, said that the priority for the company is to find new gas reserves to keep with Brazil and Argentina’s demands and develop new markets. Rivero appointed six new technical authorities to achieve this objective.
Bolivia’s international reserves reduced $425 million between 18 October and 1 November, according to the Bolivian Central Bank. During this year, the reserves fell $2.1 billion, from $8.9 billion as of 31 December to $6.8 billion as of 1 November.
Paitití Mining Company (EMIPA), that extracts gold, copper, silver and wolfram, will close its operations for 10 months from 17 December, due to technological conversions. Herland Soliz, Energy Secretary of the Regional Government of Santa Cruz, regretted the company’s decision and said that it contributes with 65% of the mining royalties for the region. As for this year, EMIPA already payed $3.12 million in royalties.
Bolivia’s gas proven reserves have been certified in 8.95 trillion cubit feet (TCF), which is lower than the last certification in 2018 (10.7 TCF) made by the Canadian firm Sproule, informed the Government. However, the reserves are enough to granted the export contracts to Brazil and Argentina and the internal market, said Hydrocarbons Minister, Victor Hugo Zamora.
The new Bolivian Government named Oscar Serrate as Extraordinary Ambassador to the United States. Serrate will be the first Ambassador in the US in 11 years, when the then Ambassador Gustavo Guzman was expelled by the US government in response to a similar move from Evo Morales’ government. Serrate was Ambassador to the United Nations.
Bolivia’s Hydrocarbons Minister, Victor Hugo Zamora, said that all oil & gas activities (exploration and exploitation) will be stopped in the Tariquia natural reserve in Tarija, south of Bolivia. He added the Government made the commitment to protect the reserve from oil activities but he acknowledged that this will not be an easy task as there are already contracts with hydrocarbon companies.