Bolivia Nationalizes Natural Gas Industry

Move affects 26 foreign producers.

President Evo Morales on Dec. 2 issued a decree formalizing a government takeover of Bolivia's natural gas industry, the latest in a series of moves to nationalize the country's energy sector.

Morales, who assumed office nearly one year ago, in May had set a six-month deadline in May for an ambitious nationalization of oil and gas resources to recoup energy revenues.

Bolivia holds the second-largest South American natural gas reserves after Venezuela, and over 26 foreign groups -- including ExxonMobil, BG Group, Total, Repsol and Petrobras -- have interests in the country.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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