Two energy companies have signed deals in Bolivia to comply with the country’s nationalisation plans. The US-based firm Vintage and France’s Total are the first to do so ahead of a deadline to hand over a majority stake in their Bolivian operations or quit the country. The deal with Total means the company will invest around 1.5 billion euros.
Other companies are still in last-minute talks. The deadline for agreement is late Saturday. The Bolivian President Evo Morales said he was signing with the two companies “so they can be partners and not owners of Bolivia’s natural resources”. Morales’s pledge to assert state control has not gone smoothly. The Bolivian government says negotiations with Brazil’s Petrobras – still inconclusive – have proved the most difficult.