U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Country Analysis Note
- Hydrocarbons, primarily natural gas, are an important element of Bolivia's economy and account for 30 percent of total public sector revenue and natural gas exports account for around 50 percent of total export revenue in 2011-2012, according to the International Monetary Fund. In 2011, petroleum and natural gas accounted for almost 80 percent of Bolivia's primary energy consumption, with the remainder attributable to biomass and waste, hydroelectric power, and other renewable sources.
- Traditional biomass is an important fuel for heating and cooking, especially for the 2.2 million Bolivians who lack access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency's latest 2011 estimates. The electrification rate of 77.5 percent masks enormous disparities for urban and rural populations: more than 98 percent of city dwellers have access to electricity, compared to just 38 percent of those in rural areas. For those who have access to electricity, natural gas-fired plants and hydropower are the dominant sources of Bolivia's electricity supply.
- Bolivia has 210 million barrels of proved crude oil reserves, which ranks among the smallest reserve-holders in the world. Proved reserves of crude oil dropped significantly from 465 million barrels in 2011. Bolivia's proved reserves of natural gas have also fallen from 26.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in previous years to the most recent estimate of 9.9 Tcf. Decreased investments in exploration and production because of political instability and regulatory uncertainty contributed to the decline.
- Bolivia is a net importer of oil. In 2012, Bolivia's total oil production was 57,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), while consumption was around 62,000 bbl/d. The country has two oil refineries with a total crude oil distillation capacity of around 41,000 bbl/d.
- Bolivia is the third-largest dry natural gas producer in mainland South America, trailing only Venezuela and Argentina. Dry natural gas production in Bolivia was 558 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2011, increasing from 507 Bcf in 2010.
- Bolivia is a key supplier of natural gas in the region, and its exports are shipped via pipelines to Brazil and Argentina. Bolivia's natural gas exports were 470 Bcf in 2011, increasing from 411 Bcf in 2010. Brazil and Argentina are demanding further volumes. However, because of growing domestic demand in the industrial sector, Bolivia is having difficulty meeting its contractual obligations.
- The Bolivia-Brazil natural gas pipeline (commonly referred to as GASBOL) is owned and operated by Gas TransBoliviano, of which YPFB Transporte has a majority stake. The pipeline was completed in 1998 and has a maximum capacity of 1.1 Bcf per day. The YABOG pipeline, which runs from RÃo Grande, Bolivia to Salta, Argentina, was completed in 1972 with a capacity of 210 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day. Argentina and Bolivia operate another small cross-border pipeline, known as Juana Azurduy, from the Margerita field in Bolivia to the border town, Madrejones, to an Argentinian plant at the Duran field. The pipeline began operations in June 2011 with a capacity of 953 MMcf per day of natural gas.
- In an attempt to double the production of natural gas by 2015, state-owned Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) is seeking both new foreign partnerships and new areas for natural gas exploration and production. According to Newsbase (LatAmOil), YPFB aims to negotiate and approve 18 exploration contracts and drill 14 wells over the next five years.
- In May 2013, YPFB and Argentina's state-owned petroleum company, Yacimientos Petoliferos Fiscales (YPF), agreed to explore for natural gas resources, including shale gas, in southeastern Bolivia. Argentina is looking to increase its natural gas supplies, and Bolivia hopes the deal will ultimately boost its economy.
- The Bolivian government also plans to explore for hydrocarbon resources in national parks and protected natural areas, but consultations with local communities may delay exploration projects.
Analysis Last Updated: August 2013
Overview data for Bolivia+ EXPAND ALL
-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; E = Estimate value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.
Data last updated: May 30, 2013
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