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Bolivia earned $5 billion from oil and gas

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Staff writer ▼ | December 30, 2013
Bolivia oilBolivia's government earned more than $5 billion in hydrocarbon-related revenue in 2013 and that total is projected to rise to $6 billion next year, President Evo Morales said.

The president gave those figures in a speech in the eastern province of Santa Cruz, noting that the government's revenue from hydrocarbon activities in 2005, a year before the country's oil and gas reserves were put under state control, totaled $300 million.

Mr. Morales said the nationalization of Bolivia's energy industry transformed the economy by raising production taxes and royalties on foreign companies, requiring them to renegotiate existing contracts or leave the country and proclaiming national ownership of oil and gas reserves.

A dozen foreign companies operate in Bolivia's energy sector, including Spain's Repsol, Brazil's Petrobras, British Gas, France's Total and Anglo-Argentine Pan American Energy.

Bolivia, whose 2013 gross domestic product is projected to come in at roughly $32 billion, exports 32 million cubic meters (1.1 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per day to Brazil and half that volume to Argentina.

Bolivia will conclude this year with a record economic growth of 6.5 percent, compared with the previous estimate of 5.5 percent, President Morales said. The better-than-expected figure "is an indication of good government," said Mr. Morales, while signing the State Enterprise Law at the presidential palace. He underscored the importance of increased state involvement in the economy, which reached 35 percent in 2013.

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