Brazil to Cooperate with Bolivia on Natural Gas Nationalization

Bolivia and Brazil will form commissions to discuss the implementation of Bolivia's decision to nationalize its natural gas industry, which raised tensions between the South American neighbors.

Energy officials from the countries met Wednesday night in the Bolivian capital to discuss Bolivia's decision last week to set gas prices and transfer majority control of all energy operations to its state energy company, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, or YPFB.

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In a statement after a five-hour meeting, officials from both countries said the Brazilian government "reiterates its absolute respect for the sovereign decisions taken by the government and people of Bolivia" in the nationalization decree.

They also agreed to create a high-level commission and three sub-commissions to determine the operating conditions for Brazil's state-run petroleum company, Petrobras, in Bolivia within 180 days.