RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Brazilian unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bolivia’s Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) to import natural gas, the Anglo-Dutch oil major told Reuters on Friday.
The agreement, signed last week, relates to a commercial contract involving the supply of 4 million cubic meters of gas per day through 2022, and some 10 million cubic meters per day from that year, according to a statement from the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI).
The non-binding memorandum between Shell Brasil and YPFB paves the way for a potential deal in the future, Shell Brasil said, adding the transaction could enhance Shell’s position as a gas supplier in Latin America’s largest economy.
The plan comes as an existing contract for natural gas transportation services on the Brazil-Bolivia pipeline known as Gasbol is set to end, freeing capacity, the oil company said.
Operated by TBG, the Gasbol pipeline is majority owned by a subsidiary of Brazil’s oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA and minority owned by a subsidiary of Bolivia’s YPFB.
Shell Brasil said it wants to take advantage of an opportunity to import gas from Bolivia as capacity becomes available in the Brazil-Bolivia pipeline in the coming years.
The 20-year contract between Petrobras and the pipeline operator will end on Dec. 31, Royal Dutch Shell said, referring to an agreement signed in 1999. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by David Gregorio)