Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bolivia's Contraband Petroleum

The Bolivians are now investigating the Spanish-Argentine petroleum company Repsol YPF who has illegally extracted crude oil from Bolivia without authorization. Jorge Alvarado, head of Bolivian state oil company YPFB, has said in an interview published Feb. 8 in Spanish Newspaper El Mundo that Bolivian customs had evidence indicating that Repsol had altered documents in order to take vast amounts of oil out of the country without the government's permission or knowledge.

Andina S.A., a subsidiary of Spanish-Argentine oil company Repsol YPF, has been under investigation for the last several months for overtly and repeatedly smuggling resources out of Bolivia..

According to tracking documentation, the smuggled oil exports were spirited out of country & passed through the Yacuiba pipeline. Andina S.A managers had even requested the Ministry of Hydrocarbons for a "resolution"; by which the export of an additional 150,000 barrels of crude would be authorized to the company.

Repsol spokesman have declined to comment on the the documentation and the pending report that could fine the company for evading tariffs, duties and taxes.

But the Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA have cut its own oil & gas reserves estimates by 25 percent, supposedly due to Bolivian "production prospects" by "political uncertainty". Additionally, the company has decided to freeze $480 million USD it had earmarked for investment in Bolivia's gas production and delivery systems.