Ministry to cut domestic prices for asphalt, natgas

- Monday, February 13, 2006

Ministry to cut domestic prices for asphalt, natgas

Venezuela's energy and oil ministry plans to cut the price of natural gas for industrial and residential applications in the domestic market 30%, energy and oil minister and state oil company PDVSA president Rafael Ramírez announced on Monday.

The price of asphalt will also be reduced from 64,200 bolívares a barrel (US$30) to less than half that, 25,680 bolívares, in order to facilitate the government's 2006 national roadways plan, PDVSA said in a statement.

The new prices for both asphalt and natural gas have yet to be published in the government's ledger so they cannot be considered official yet.

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However, a study by national gas regulator Enagas said that money spent buying natural gas represents less than 7% of the total costs of electricity generators in Venezuela. Even for Pequiven, the state petrochemicals company, natural gas represents only 13% of its total costs.

In that study by Enagas, obtained by BNamericas in January, the final price for natural gas for electric generators were set at 43.2 bolívares per million British Thermal Units (MBTU) and for petrochemicals industries at 42.2 bolívares per MBTU.

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