Carlos Valdez, Associated Press Writer
LA PAZ, Bolivia,
Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said after an emergency meeting Thursday evening with
The two nations have been feuding over how much Brazil should pay for Bolivian natural gas since Morales declared on May 1 that he was nationalizing the country's hydrocarbon industry and would renegotiate contracts.
Brazil's state-run oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, has two refineries that process 90 percent of Bolivia's natural gas and is the biggest investor in what amounts to South America's second-largest gas reserves after Venezuela's.
Word emerged Wednesday that
Petrobras responded angrily Thursday, saying the measure made "inviable" its business in
"It means we lose our cash flow," said chief executive Sergio Gabrielli, who had earlier in the day canceled a trip to
Gabrielli said Petrobras will use all legal means to defend its Bolivian interests.
"We won't surrender our assets, we'll fight for them," Gabrielli said. "We want a fair price" in compensation, he said.
He added that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of
Silva, who stands for re-election on Oct. 1, has taken intense political heat for perceived softness on
Garcia Linera admitted Thursday that the measure was designed to put pressure on negotiations with
Petrobras has invested about US$1.5 billion (euro1.2 billion) in Bolivian natural gas production since the mid-1990s, when
Associated Press writer Alvaro Zuazo, and AP Business Writer Alan Clendenning in
Originally found at Houston Chronicle