Peter Howard Wertheim
RIO DE JANEIRO, Apr. 11 -- Flooding and landslides from rains in Bolivia have damaged an 800 m section of a condensate pipeline in Bolivia and created gas-supply problems in Brazil.
The pipeline damage forced restriction of gas output from San Antonio and Margarita fields and lowered throughput of the Bolivia-Brazil natural gas pipeline to 19 million cu m/day from 26 million cu m/day, according to Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras). The state company holds major interests in and operates parts of the damaged condensate pipeline and the integrated gas production and transportation system.
Brazil's energy ministry reduced gas deliveries to electric power generators and local distribution companies. The rationing is affecting the 11 refineries Petrobras owns.
Pipeline repairs have been delayed by Bolivian protests, which have blocked roads used by pipeline repair crews, Petrobras said. Protesters want higher royalties for the Chaco region in the south of Bolivia where the largest gas producing fields are located.