Hydrocarbons in 2007

Andrés Solíz Rada, ex-Minister for Energy and Hydrocarbons

The refoundation of YPFB is one of the most important tasks for the country in 2007. For this to occur, it will be necessary to rectifying the reversals suffered by the nationalization of May 1, 2006, with the contracts signed with the petroleum companies on the 28 and 29 of last October.

The new YPFB should question the right that Petrobras has attributed to itself, of noting down in the stock market, as their own, the value of the reserves that are estimated in the shared production contracts, whose annexes “f” (remuneration of the owner) and “g” (investments realized), were not known or approved by the directorate of this state entity. The other companies, imitating Petrobras, have carried out similar notations for the totality of our reserves, which are in excess of at least US$200,000 million.

Annex “f” converted the operational contracts, subject to “remuneration”, and agreed to within the contractual framework, into shared production contracts, where the state recognizes “participation”, and is the origins of the current confusion. That is how point 4.3 of the contractual framework, which establishes the total and absolute ownership of hydrocarbons by the state, has been bypassed. It is up to YPFB to note down in its own name the value of our reserves, which would serve for the releasing of guarantee bonds, allowing us to obtain resources from the stock exchange destined for the industrialization of gas and the construction of internal gas ducts.

YPFB, in compliance with the Nationalisation Decree, should ensure that the audits of the fields serve as the basis for determining the remuneration or definitive participation of these companies. This would question the over hyped investments ($3,500 million) that the companies say they have poured in. Petrobras, for example, assures that it invested $395 million in Caranda and Colpa. The audits demonstrate that investments only reached $21 million (almost 20 times less).

YPFB could control much more that 50% plus 1 of the shares of the “capitalized” companies; Chaco, Andina and Transredes. For this it is necessary to demand payments for the debts that these companies have with the state for crimes they committed in the country. Chaco welcomed the “efficient repentance”, after the contraband of crude oil carried out over various years. But its “repentance” only covered part of its crimes. With the liquidation of pending accounts, Chaco will be controlled by YPFB. Andina (administered by Repsol) committed “aggravated theft” of more that $171 million by selling gas to Petrobras behind the back of YPFB (hedging contract), for more than three years. The sum of the money owed is more than sufficient for YPFB to control a majority of the company.

Enron and Shell won the bid for establishing, together with the AFP, the company Transredes and to manage almost all of the gas ducts and pipelines in the country, on the condition of investing $263 million. On May 16, 1997, Enron and Shell made a deposit in the City Bank of New York. After sending the deposit slip to La Paz, that same afternoon they transferred this sum into the accounts of subsidiaries. For this theft, it is long overdue for Transredes to pass over into the hands of YPFB.

The current contracts determine that the IVA and Transaction Tax (IT) should be “recoverable costs” of the companies, along with other costs which even include exploratory risks. Only a state company, integrate by capable, incorruptible and patriotic people could avoid, under the guise of “recoverable costs”, these companies continued uncontrollable suction of resources. The industrialization of gas, initiated in the producing departments, and the construction of grand gas ducts in the interior of Bolivia are the key functions of the new state company, which, in the last instance, has in its hands a vital part of the nation’s destiny.

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