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Petrobras to increase Bolivian natural gas imports

14th February 2014

Petrobras will increase imports of natural gas from Bolivia to produce electricity due to decreased water levels in Brazil's hydrodams

Petrobras will increase imports of natural gas from Bolivia to produce electricity duie to decreased water levels (Photo courtesy of hidrocarburosbolivia.com)

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company, will increase imports of natural gas from Bolivia to produce electricity as water levels in Brazil's hydrodams decrease, revealed Yacimentos Petroliferas Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Bolivia's state-oil company.

The YPFB agreed to sell an additional 2.24 million cubic meters a day of natural gas to Petrobras for 20 days. Mauricio Marañón sales director at the YPFB media office said that the 20-day contract may also be extended.

The additional gas is being bought as water levels in Brazil's southeast and central-west regions are at their lowest level since February 2001.

According to the YPFB, the gas will power Petrobras' 529.2 megawatt Governor Mario Covas thermal power plant in Cuiaba, Brazil, which is on the Bolivian border. The plant is capable of generating enough electricity for a Brazilian city of 1.13 million people.

Bolivia has been searching for methods to export additional natural gas to Brazil due to the failure of a plan to increase exports to Argentina by building a new pipeline.

Brazil received around 68 per cent of its electricity from hydropower and uses thermal power, particularly natural gas, biomass and diesel oil.

Abegas, Brazil's natural gas distributors association reported that natural gas demand has increased 17.8 per cent in 2013 to 67.2 million cubic meters per day. Imports have increased to 47 million cubic meters per day.

In 2013, Brazil received about 60 per cent of its natural gas imports from Bolivia, but paid less than half for Bolivian gas by pipeline than it did for imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The main agreement is set to expire in 2018.

 

 

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