Declining natural gas production in Bolivia has led to the need to reduce shipments to Brazil this year in order to increase sales to Argentina and make the most of higher prices.
While Bolivia is forced to devise trade strategies that reduce the impact of the decline in production, Argentina, with a marked increase in its gas supplies, resumed shipments to Chile in early June.
According to analysts, Bolivia suffers not only from the problem of gas shortage, but also from the short-sightedness of the international vision that makes it difficult for it to embody new business opportunities in hydrocarbon matters.
On June 10, in the framework of the Ninth Summit of the Americas held in the United States, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, held a bilateral meeting with his Chilean counterpart, Gabriel Borek, in which the green light was given to the Argentine Republic. gas exports.
In addition, they agreed to continue work that will allow the rehabilitation of the Trasandino pipeline by early 2023, which will improve the logistical efficiency of transporting crude oil from Vaca Muerta to Chile.
In this regard, hydrocarbon analyst Jose Padilla said that this scenario has something to do with the way Bolivia has dealt with its hydrocarbon policy, which – in his opinion – is in conflict with the policies of neighboring countries such as Argentina, which has not stopped betting. On private investment to increase reserves.
“This once again shows the country’s lack of visibility in terms of increasing hydrocarbon reserves,” he said.
In addition, Padilla identifies a kind of short-sightedness in the conduct of international politics that reduces the chances of integration and development. He referred to the Bolivian government’s decision “not to sell a single molecule of gas to Chile” in 2004, “a completely absurd measure because here it is not a question of enemies but of economic integration.”
“What Bolivia has to do with it is to always be on good terms with its neighbors to have back-and-forth advantages and advantages, so I think opportunities are lost when there is political short-sightedness,” the analyst added.
Similarly, Padilla sees this short-sightedness persisting today, with measures taken in the Luis Arce Catacura administration, such as the decision to cut more than 20 percent of gas shipments to Brazil to send to Argentina for greater income, but with no better clients.
While Bolivia runs out of gas, it seems, Ibn Ars is betting on lithium while the Russians, Argentina and Chile talk business. “The lack of visibility for this government is really worrying,” Espinosa said on his Twitter account.
Energy analyst Francesco Zarate noted that Bolivia’s problem is that it does not have gas due to a lack of exploration in the past 15 years, while Argentina has an abundance of gas from the Vaca Muerta field, in addition to the gas and oil pipelines that allow it. to reach Chile.
“Talking about new markets for Bolivia at this time is completely absurd, unless Argentina stops buying from us and we have to look for distributors in Brazil. This is the big problem we have and we know the cause of this problem very well: it is the 15 years of lack of exploration that has left us with reserves. compressed, with huge fields compressed, so in a short time there will probably be doubts about the possibility of continued existence of foreign markets,” Zarate said.