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Argentina and Brazil consider reversing natural gas flows through Bolivia

Argentina and Brazil are considering reversing the southerly flow of a Bolivian natural gas pipeline network that connects the three countries, to export natural gas from the Vaca Muerta gas formation in western Argentina to Brazil via pipelines in Bolivia. Brazil has been exploring ways to import gas from Argentina due to declining Bolivian gas exports that might become unavailable after 2029. Securing gas imports from Argentina would also protect Brazil from volatile LNG import prices. A preliminary proposal on reversing existing pipelines has failed to gain traction in Bolivia, while Argentina must first complete key transport projects to bring its gas to the border with Bolivia and build the commercial framework needed for negotiating tariffs.

During 2022, Bolivia’s gas exports were split between Brazil (67%) and Argentina (33%), with the volume decreasing by around 4%/year since 2014 due to a decline in gas production, reaching 10 bcm. As of 2021, all of Brazil’s and Argentina’s imports by pipeline came from Bolivia. In 2022, Brazil and Argentina imported a total of 9 bcm and 6 bcm of natural gas, respectively.