The leaders of Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Argentina have gathered for an hastily convened summit to discuss this week’s nationalisation by Bolivia’s President Evo Morales of his country’s energy resources.
In doing that Bolivia has followed Venezuela in trying to gain more control over its oil and gas industries.
Spain said it will hold talks with the Bolivian government about the position of Repsol YPF which has invested 800 million euros in Bolivia
On Monday, Morales announced the move which has worried energy companies operating there, particularly Brazil’s state-run energy company Petrobras which is a major investor in Bolivia.
Sergio Gabrielle, who heads Petrobras, was cautious. He said: “It’s possible that conditions for negotiations exists, within the Bolivian government’s sovereign and autonomous legislation. There’s no questioning of Bolivia’s right to make decisions, but we’re going to defend the interests of Petrobras and the interests of the Brazilian market.”
Brazilian drivers, who rely to a great extent on liquid petroleum gas for their cars are complaining that the uncertainty has driven up prices and Petrobras has scrapped plans to import more gas from Bolivia.