Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lula Affirms Bolivian Gas Contracts, Cites Solidarity

President Lula of Brazil re-affirmed his committment to natural gas purchasing contracts with Bolivia despite

Brazil's recent discovery of large off-shore oil and gas reserves. Lula said, "We have to help Bolivia, which is a poor country, we're not going to stop buying just because we have more gas, the role of a big country is to buy and help the poor, this is the politics of solidarity. Today we need Bolivian gas, but now we don't depend solely on Bolivian gas. I have faith that with the pre-sal (new deepwater reserves) that we will have much more gas and be self-sufficient." Lula made these remarks at the inauguration of South America's largest gas pipeline the GASDUC III. However Lula remarked negatively on Evo's nationalization of Bolivia's gas of which Brazil's Petrobras is the largest foreign company, owning some 40% of the Bolivian market. Lula cited disagreements with Bolivia saying, "We can't keep fighting with Bolivia."
Later Brazil's cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff said that there was no reason to worry about Bolivia cutting off Brazil's crucial gas supplies, saying "I don't think that Bolivia is going to cut off our gas, there is no reason for Bolivia to do this. Moreover we have a diversity of supply sources.

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