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Bolivia’s gas conundrum as it celebrates six years nationalised

On May Day, it will be six years since President Evo Morales nationalised Bolivia’s gas sector. The anniversary offers Morales the opportunity to hail the success of his strategy in boosting production, but has it also sown the seeds of the sector’s long-term decline?

Bolivia's gas industry is doing well. Gas production was at its highest level ever in 2011 at 45.07 million cubic metres per day (cm/d), up nearly 30% since 2006 and more than five times production in 2000. Investment rose to a post-nationalisation high of $1.293 billion in 2011 – far higher than in previous years. And the government expects that figure to rise to just over $2bn this year. Revenues are also at an all-time high as the country’s oil-linked gas supply contracts with neighbours Argentina and Brazil have benefited from elevated global oil prices. The sector looks poised for further gains over the next two to three years. Spanish firm Repsol, the biggest foreign investor in Boli

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