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Short-term capacity contracts to boost competition on Bolivia-Brazil Gasbol pipeline

Highlights

Daily, monthly, quarterly contract periods offered

Firm and interruptible capacity available

New service contracts to take effect Oct. 1

New York — Brazil's largest natural gas import pipeline will soon offer short-term transportation contracts for firm and interruptible capacity as regulators look to expand third-party competition and market access.

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Following a Sept. 9 regulatory approval for the move, short-term capacity on the 1.1 Bcf/d Bolivia-Brazil Gasbol pipeline could be made available as early as October, the National Petroleum Agency said in a press release.

The pipeline's operator Transportadora Brasileira Gasoduto Bolívia-Brasil, or TBG, will offer the short-term capacity for contracting in daily, monthly and quarterly periods. Interested shippers can request single or multiple contracting periods with the option to specify points of entry and exit for contracted volumes.

Tariffs for short-term transportation will be calculated based on reference tariffs used in annual open seasons to which a variable multiplier is applied in accordance with contractual term-length.

Shippers interested in contracting with TBG can access a designated capacity offering platform by mid-September when firm and interruptible capacity for fourth-quarter 2020 will be made available.

Processes for offering and allocating short-term contracts will also be made available publicly in a yearly calendar to be prepared by pipeline shippers and the National Petroleum Agency.

Open-season

Regulatory approval for short-term capacity contracting on Gasbol comes as numerous third-party shippers in Brazil await the outcome of a re-initiated open-season on the pipeline that began Aug. 21.

The final results of that process, scheduled for publication by mid-September, have also been long awaited. Now in its fourth iteration, the Gasbol open-season was first launched some 13 months ago but faced an early setback when Brazil's state-led oil company, Petrobras, was accused of anti-competitive practice in the initial bidding process.

Two subsequent attempts at open seasons in March and again in July were postponed when shippers expressed concern over constraints to participation caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While the National Petroleum Agency has yet to publicly disclose the available capacity on offer during the current open season, the process launched in March had released some 355 MMcf/d for bidding by third-party shippers.

The 1.1 Bcf/d Gasbol Pipeline can supply up to one-quarter of Brazil's marketed gas volume with access to the country's heavily industrialized southeast and southern states.

Increased access to the pipeline could quickly transform the largely noncompetitive landscape of Brazil's onshore gas market. Until recently, state-owned Petrobras had monopolized the upstream and midstream markets and controlled large segments of Brazil's downstream distribution network.