UPDATE 1-Petrobras to buy more Bolivia gas for power as water levels fall

miércoles 12 de febrero de 2014 19:05 GYT

* Brazil power-dam levels at lowest for Feb since 2001

* Petrobras may extend 20-day gas contract, YPFB says

* Contract to increase Bolivia imports by up to 9.3 pct (Adds Petrobras declined to comment in paragraph 7)

LA PAZ, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA will increase imports of natural gas from Bolivia to generate electricity as water levels in Brazil's hydrodams fall to record lows, Bolivia's state-oil company said on Wednesday.

Yacimentos Petroliferas Fiscales Bolivianos, or YPFB, agreed to sell an additional 2.24 million cubic meters (79.1 million cubic feet) a day of natural gas to Petrobras, as the Brazilian oil company is known, for 20 days.

The 20-day contract may be extended, YPFB media office said, citing sales director Mauricio Marañón. The amount is between 7.4 percent and 9.3 percent of the 24.1 to 30.1 million cubic meters a day Petrobras has contracted to buy for 20 years using the 3,150-km (1,960-mile) Bolivia-Brazil Pipeline. The main accord expires in 2018.

The additional gas is being purchased as water levels in Brazil's southeast and central-west regions are at 36.7 percent, their lowest February level since 2001, when Brazil faced power rationing. The regions contain Brazil's most populous cities, principal manufacturing industries and the bulk of its farms.