Petrobras' Bolivian unit fined $61 mln over land dispute, company says

SAO PAULO, May 28 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras said on Friday its Bolivian unit has been ordered to pay a $61.1 million fine over a dispute with a family over the ownership of land in one of its main gas fields there.

Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing two sources, that Petrobras Bolivia SA, a unit of Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro , had its accounts blocked by a Bolivian court.

“In the judicial decision, an alleged owner of the area occupied by the San Alberto block was awarded an indemnity for the use of the property, calculated from 1996, when the block’s operations started,” Petrobras said in a statement.

The San Alberto field produced an average of 2.69 million cubic meters of gas per day in 2020. It is operated by Petrobras, with a 35% interest, along with YPFB Andina - a joint venture between Bolivia’s YPFB, Spain’s Repsol and France’s Total.

Petrobras said it has appealed.

“Petrobras expects the court to reverse the decision,” it said, adding that it “will defend itself vigorously.”

Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Will Dunham