President Evo Morales on May 1 issued a formal decree nationalizing Bolivia's oil and natural gas resources. The president used a May Day labor holiday speech at San Alberto gas field in southern Bolivia to make the announcement.
Bolivia has the second highest natural gas reserves in Latin America, behind Venezuela.
Morales said foreign energy companies would have to agree new contracts with the state run oil firm, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), within 180 days.
Morales was elected in December on a pledge to take a bigger share of earnings from Bolivia's vast energy resources for South America's poorest country.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006