Friday, July 11, 2008

Bolivian Oil & Gas Companies / Professionals migrating to Peru

The Morales governments nationalization process - rather a reversion to majority government control of oil and gas companies has resulted in a precipitous drop in investment and production in Bolivia's once booming gas sector. Neighbor Peru has been agressively courting international partners to boost its own fledgling gas sector based around the Camisea gas fields. With much less than half of Bolivia's gas reserves it has attracted US $3 billion dollars in investment for exploration and production in hydrocarbons a staggering 10 times the $300 million for Bolivia this year.

And another effect has been a brain drain of Bolivian oil and gas professionals, skilled workers and managers to Peru where their expertise is valued highly. La Razon quotes one expert who estimates 800 top industry professionals moving to Peru to take on top managerial and technical positions. In addition, other workers have gone to Peru as employees of multinationals like Respsol YPF.

If that were not enough, several of the most experienced Bolivian companies, like Serpetbol which has have taken up shop in Peru's gas fields. That company billed nearly $60 million dollars in Peru, and employs 1000 workers.

What this exodus of experienced professionals and companies shows is Bolivia's current governments complete mismanagement of its oil and gas sector. Chasing away investors, hurts the entire national hydrocarbons industry, which includes the valuable human capital and 100 percent Bolivian service companies.
All the more glaring due to the enormous boom in price, which allows Peru to pulls in Billions of investments - as well as Bolivian expertise for much less gas than Bolivia has. Bolivia should have billions in investments, a vibrant national industry, operting at higher production levels. After nearly 3 years of Evo, it can not even comply with its Argentina and Brazil contracts. Promised Venezuelan/Russian/Iranian "investments" are more media events. I would be there are more Bolivians working in exploration in Peru, than there are Venezuelans doing the same in Bolivia.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Gringo said...

Like the song says, "When will they ever learn?"

YPFB has historically been underfunded and overstaffed, a laughingstock even among the less-than-stellar government-owned oil companies.
It is no surprise that Morales's actions have resulted in the current dearth in drilling. What is sad is Evo's insistence on following a failed path.

An irony is that cocaleros are entrepreneurs. In going for socialism and government regulation, Evo has rejected the experience of the cocaleros.

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