LA PAZ – Bolivia said on Wednesday that it is prepared to increase the supply of natural gas to Argentina as long as Buenos Aires is willing to pay more for the fuel.
“We cannot squander our gas,” Hydrocarbons Minister Luis Sanchez said after a Cabinet meeting in La Paz. “Our gas has a price.”
Sanchez said that Argentina has made “unofficial” proposals about buying more gas, but on terms that Bolivia deems unfavorable.
The minister emphasized that while Argentina is paying around $10 per million BTUs (British thermal units) for natural gas from Chile, Bolivian gas goes for a little more than $6 per million BTUs.
“We can work on opening the contract up,” Sanchez said, adding that La Paz is willing to “negotiate new volumes, but with better prices.”
For that to happen, he said, Argentina must take the first step with a proposal.
The Bolivian government says that its gas is the most competitively priced in the region compared with that of Argentina and Chile.
Bolivia sits on some of the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, its chief export.