Bolivia regularizes internal gas supply after alleged attack on gas pipeline


LA PAZ (Sputnik) – The de facto government of Bolivia announced the normalization of natural gas supplies to the center and west of the country, after three weeks of rationing caused by an alleged attack on a gas pipeline during the recent political conflict.

"Today we continue with the process of regularization, that is, as of today we are enabling the supply of gas for the entire industrial sector," Hydrocarbons Minister Victor Hugo Zamora said at a press conference.

The main of the two pipelines that supply the Bolivian Andean region with the gas extracted in the tropics was cut off by an explosion as it passed through the coca-producing region of Chapare, during the protests that followed the self-proclamation of President Jeanine Anez.
The de facto government suggested that the pipeline could have suffered an attack with explosives but avoided directly indicating the coca producer unions that control the region.

Minister Zamora said that only in the last week, after the lifting of the blockades and other protests against Anez, technicians of the state-backed oil company YPFB could reach the disaster area and repair the 260 meters of destroyed pipes.

He added that during the rationing period YPFB gave priority to the domestic natural gas market of the departments of La Paz, Oruro and Cochabamba and cut off the supply to the industrial sector, in which cement factories, milk processors and soft drink bottlers stood out.

The National Chamber of Industry said in a statement that losses in that sector due to a cut in the supply of natural gas reached 76 million dollars due to unfinished production or waste of inputs.

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