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Cablegate: Congress Approves Hydrocarbons Contracts

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STATE FOR WHA/AND
TREASURY FOR SGOOCH
ENERGY FOR CDAY AND SLADISLAW

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV ENRG EPET BL
SUBJECT: CONGRESS APPROVES HYDROCARBONS CONTRACTS

REF: A. LA PAZ 3080

B. LA PAZ 1157

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Senate Approves Gas Contracts
-----------------------------

1. (SBU) The senate approved the 44 new hydrocarbons
contracts that were signed with private production and
exploration companies at the end of October (ref A) late on
November 28. Only 14 of the 27 senators were present, as the
opposition had abandoned the session in protest over the
GOB's conflictive land reform bill, which was also approved
on the 28th (septel). Company representatives indicated that
although they were not pleased with the government's tactics
leading up to the signing of the new contracts, they are
satisfied with the contracts, and hopeful that they will
provide sufficient legal security to enable investments now
that they have been approved by congress.

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------------------------------------------
GOB Seeks Majority Ownership of Transredes
------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) President Morales announced on November 28 that he
had met with Shell during his trip to the Netherlands and
convinced the company to sell some of its shares in partially
U.S.-owned Transredes to Bolivia's state oil company YPFB.
The sale would enable YPFB to gain majority ownership of the
Bolivian pipeline operator that is 25 percent-owned by Shell,
in line with the GOB's May 2006 nationalization decree (ref
B). A Transredes executive told Econoff on November 29,
however, that the company had received neither official nor
extra-official notification of such an agreement.
GOLDBERG

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