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Bolivia Seizes Transredes Gas Pipeline From Shell

Bloomberg

 

 

Bolivia Seizes Transredes Gas Pipeline From Shell, Ashmore 

By Bill Faries

June 2 (Bloomberg) — Bolivian President Evo Morales issued a decree taking control of Transredes Transporte de Hidrocarburos SA, a natural-gas pipeline partly owned by Europe’s Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Ashmore Energy International.

The move, reported earlier today by the Associated Press, follows a May 1 announcement by Morales that the government would acquire a majority stake in Transredes, according to a statement on the Web site of the official Bolivian news agency, ABI. Morales announced the takeover at a Transredes plant in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, according to the statement.

Morales decided to nationalize the pipeline after owners of Transredes failed to agree to terms on giving the government a majority stake by May 1, the AP reported. Terms of the takeover weren’t disclosed.

According to the Transredes Web site, Shell and Ashmore each owned 25 percent of the pipeline through a joint venture called TR Holdings Ltda. Bolivia’s state-owned Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos owned more than 47 percent. Morales is taking control by seizing TR’s stake, the government said in its statement through ABI.

Shell, Europe’s largest oil producer, can’t comment on the takeover until it has a chance to review and assess the action, said Eurwen Thomas, a spokesman in London for the company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Faries in Buenos Aires at[email protected].

Last Updated: June 2, 2008 13:24 EDT

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