Thursday, May 7, 2009

Newswire: Latin America - Region

[Venezuela] -- Oil-Services Law to Affect Some Foreign Companies
New nationalization legislation now in the hands of Venezuelan lawmakers will impact the operations of some oil-services companies but will leave out rig firms and large well-service firms.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez noted Wednesday that firms such as Williams Co. (WMB), a U.S. firm that operates a high-pressure gas compression facility in Venezuela, could be affected by the new law, but noted that oil rig firms and large service firms such as Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) and Halliburton Co. (HAL) are not included.

[Bolivia] -- U.N. Team Documents Forced Labor Among Indians in Bolivia
LA PAZ – A mission dispatched by the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues reported Tuesday that it had verified the existence of Indian communities in eastern Bolivia that are being subjected to forced labor.

[Peru] -- Central Bank May Cut Interest Rate to 4% as Domestic Demand Stalls
Peru’s central bank will probably cut its benchmark lending rate for a fourth straight month today as slowing inflation allows policy makers to lower borrowing costs and bolster flagging domestic demand.

[Peru] -- Repsol to Invest $500 Million a Year in Peru, Complete Projects
Repsol YPF chairman and CEO Antonio Brufau said Tuesday that the Spanish energy giant would invest $500 million per year in Peru, completing $6 billion in oil and natural gas projects.

The Spanish oil company has a large stake in the development of the Camisea natural gas field in southeastern Peru and plans to begin exporting fuel to Mexico next year.

[Chile] -- Codelco Increases Reserves by 20 Percent
Chile’s state-owned National Copper Corporation, or Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal, increased its proven and probable reserves by 20 percent in 2008, company sources told Efe on Wednesday.

[Mexico] --
Calderon Deploys Reserves as Swine Flu Depletes Mexico Financial Resources
As the sun sets on Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican border city’s citizens flee to the safety of their homes. The vendors who crowd Avenida Juarez to sell tacos and ice cream during the day pack up their carts and disappear. Hawkers who hand out leaflets for a local mall are gone too -- and the mall itself is a ghost town.