Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today's News Roundup: January 31 2005

Mining Minister Claims Mutún Bidding Unconstitutional

The newly appointed minister of mines an metallurgy, Walter Villarroel, yesterday announced that the Mutún bidding process would be reviewed. Claims that the process has been unconstitutional and that the industrialization of the reserve should be controlled by the bankrupt state mining corporation COMIBOL Foreign companies that may be affected include Mittal Steel Group, Shandong Luneng Mining Group, Jindall Steel & Power, The Techint Group, SIDERAR. More from Los Tiempos (SP)

Should YPFB become a private company?

More of a mixed ownership society, following the Petrobras example, or so proposes Armando Álvarez, General Manager of the Bolivian Stock Exchange (BVV). The proposal arrives more from a financial than operating point of view. The primary objective being that YPFB, the Bolivian oil and gas state corporation, could be listed in the exchange and access capital through that mean. More from El Diario.

Petrobras Begins Talks With Bolivia Government

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, has begun talks with Bolivia's new government about the future of its operations. Jorge Alvarado, the new president of Bolivia's state-energy firm Yacimientos Petroliferos y Fiscales Bolivianos, was quoted in Brazilian papers Friday as saying Bolivia would nationalize refineries operating in the country, starting with two refineries owned by Petrobras that are estimated to be worth US$150 million (euro122 million). Foreign oil firms have invested US$3.5 billion in Bolivia since 1996. More from Dow Jones Newswires, Via AP.

More Trouble for Transredes

Energy transporter Transredes, has been granted a one week time frame to pay a 12 million bolivianos fine ($US 1.5 million) trailing back to the 2001 oil spill incident in the Desaguadero river. The fine responds to the severe ecological damage caused to the area. Similarly more fines are expected in response to the recent incidents in El Salao and Pojo in Santa Cruz, Transredes is owned by Prisma Energy, a division of Shell, and Bolivian pension fund managers Futuro the Bolivia and Prevision BBVA. From La Prensa.

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