The president of Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Armin Dorgathen, explained this Sunday that the fuel shortage that the country experienced the previous week was caused by problems in the supply of ethanol and speculation. In addition, he reported that thanks to logistical adjustments, the price of gasoline that the country buys dropped from almost 10 to 6 bolivianos in one year.
“The supply is normal, we had lines for a day in the department of La Paz and in Cochabamba (the problem) was due to the supply of ethanol. We did not have the corresponding ethanol supply and that was one of the reasons why we had a delay in loading ethanol,” the president of the Bolivian oil company told state media. However, he assured that the importation of gasoline is normal. “We have all the balances and if we do not have enough ethanol, from the ethanol producers, we will proceed to reduce the mixture of ethanol with gasoline,” he stated.
On Thursday there were long lines of motorized vehicles at different gasoline pumps in the cities of La Paz and El Alto. That day, some operators of these gas stations said: “They have not told us anything, only that there is no gasoline.” “It has just dried up, I think that in half an hour my cistern will arrive.” “Until midnight there was after the gasoline has finished”. The tanker drivers pointed out that at the Senkata Plant in El Alto they were told that there is no gasoline due to a lack of ethanol.
“They only tell us it will arrive, it will arrive. We have not loaded last night, we are loading from yesterday, today (…) Ethanol, the alcohol that we say, there is none, we have been (in line) since the previous Saturday, it has been a week and a half and there is no ethanol ”, recounted that Thursday one of the drivers of a tanker from the Senkata Plant.
Dorgathen assured that another of the causes was speculation. “When there is misinformation, speculation on the subject of fuels (these rows are produced). When a person who does not load gasoline because he has half a tank but still goes to the gas station, the only thing he does is line up and the balances that had to cover the demand of (others) who need the fuel are used ”.
The president of the oil company assured that when there is speculation that there will be no fuel, the people who still have gasoline will load it. “That is changing market conditions for us; You are buying fuel that should not have been consumed and that creates shortages for us. (In addition) we had a problem loading ethanol, but the issue has been resolved. There is no need to stand in lines,” he specified.
“The most important thing is the prices: a year ago, from May to July 2022, we imported gasoline at an average of 10 bolivianos per liter due to the war conditions, today with the logistical changes that we were able to make, imported gasoline is costing us six Bolivians. We achieved savings of almost 40% and we continue to work on saving more in the price of gasoline”, said Dorgathen.
The executive assured that import prices are improving and savings are being generated for the country. “The objective -said the professional- is to maintain the stability of fuel prices, reduce import costs and get (to pay) between four to five bolivianos per book. The goal is that the cost of the subsidy is around one bolivianos. Now, the 40% reduction is an achievement and from June and July we will have logistical improvements and we continue to import crude oil to reduce subsidy costs.”
The president of the oil company added that to continue lowering the subsidy they are handling various options such as importing crude oil directly from Middle Eastern countries and other producers. “These countries could provide cheaper fuel, the important thing is to find the logistics for it to reach the country, we are working on it. We hope that in a couple of months we will be able to say that the fuel is five bolivianos and that is an important achievement, hopefully we will reach four bolivianos and a few cents”, he affirmed.