Petrobras will review the gas supply contract with Bolivia, which expires at the end of next year, according to a note published yesterday by the Brazilian newspaper O Globo. The agreement signed with Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) states that the Brazilian state-owned company can import up to 34 million cubic meters a day.
According to the proposal discussed by the technical fields of Petrobras, the volumes should be reduced by half; about 15 million cubic meters per day. This amount is equivalent to San Pablo's market.
The Bolivian gas import contract is one of the issues that the future president of the oil company, economist Roberto Castello Branco, will have to analyze.
Sources close to the executive say they still have no position in this regard, but they are likely to take into account the suggestions of the company's technical field, according to O Globo.
Even if the Brazilian state's priority is to increase production in pre-salt fields (abroad), it is contractually obliged to pay 24 million cubic meters a day, even if they are not imported.
It should be remembered that there was a season in which purchases reached 30 million cubic meters per day; However, due to the low domestic demand of recent years, the Brazilian state has surplus gas to receive and cover the local market.
The likely reduction in Bolivian gas imports by Petrobras comes on the eve of an international public auction that prepares the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (NRA) for early next year to know which companies can take over the gas service.
Reducing the import of gas in Bolivia by half is a coming situation. Last June, a study titled "The Panorama of the Natural Gas Industry of Bolivia" by the Brazilian Ministry recommended renegotiation of the gas procurement contract and reduction of Bolivian imports after 2019 to 50%; ie 16 million cubic meters per day.
"It is considered that the renewal of Brazil's contract for the purchase of natural gas by Bolivia after 2019 for new contracts will consider smaller volumes than those negotiated in current contracts," the document said.
DUTY contacted Oscar Barriga, president of the YPFB, who said he would be in Santa Cruz and will refer to this topic today.
It should be recalled that in an interview with Mayor Diario in July 2017, the oil minister, Luis Alberto Sánchez, indicated that the Bolivian gas market in Brazil is between 30, 35 and up to 40 million cubic meters per day, will need, because Bolivian gas is more competitive in terms of price and cheaper than LNG.
According to energy analyst Álvaro Ríos, Petrobras produces more gas from the press fields for four or five years and requires less gas in Bolivia, so it is logical that imports fall.
"Bolivia can negotiate contracts with private companies, where it can increase the volume a little, the only thing that will not be there will be a state-state contract. We need to look at Petrobras as a company that is the responsibility of the country," he said Ríos.