December 11, 2018 / 11:20 PM / a year ago

Brazil oil regulator says Gasbol pipeline tender delayed

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Brazil’s oil regulator ANP said on Tuesday that it will wait until January to open for public discussion the terms of a tender for using the Bolivia-Brazil Gas Pipeline commonly known as Gasbol.

ANP director José Cesário Cecchi told Reuters said the delay was due to the need to decide on tariff rates and regulations covering the entry and exit of natural gas from the pipeline, among other issues.

The auction must be held soon because the current natural gas transport service contract, signed in 1999, between Petroleo Brasileiro SA and TBG, the pipeline owner, expires on Dec. 31, 2019.

TBG is a partnership between Petrobras Logistica, which holds a majority stake, and a subsidiary of Bolivian state-owned oil company YPF.

Cecchi said the tender should have been ready by January, but will now take until the second half of 2019 to prepare. The previous schedule aimed at publication of the tender results on July 25.

With the new contract, Petrobras could cease to be the only gas importer to use the Gasbol pipeline, as it looks to reduce its role in the gas distribution market, selling assets and opening room for other competitors. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira, editing by G Crosse)

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