Miguel Angel Melendres reports for El Deber:
DIRECTOR OF AHN
Gary Medrano: “Entire populations engaged in smuggling”
The National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) ensures that controls as never before, by the former Superintendency, the ‘downstream’ and ‘upstream’ of the energy chain. Searching to tackle fuel smuggling that goes abroad.
Former military and ANH director for more than two years ago, is about to celebrate five years of the creation of this entity. Does not try to hide their successes and truthfully reveals the weaknesses that need adjusting.
GARY ANDRES MEDRANO VILLAMOR – Executive Director of the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) –
How do you see the ANH’s five years of operation?
It was a product of the new Constitution. Prior to CPE, the old Superintendency of Hydrocarbons, only managed half of the hydrocarbons chain (‘downstream’) in its pipeline transportation links, storage, refining and marketing. With the new Constitution, it was extended to ‘upstream’; i.e. control, supervise and regulate the links in exploration, drilling and production.
What were the most important actions that took place?
We made a technological leap. We incorporate a number of computer systems to control generation ‘downstream’ and began to place surveillance cameras throughout the oil infrastructure, such as gas stations, gas bottling plants, LPG distributors, refineries, wells, fields. Now we watch, from a central monitoring, everything that happens. Then place the System Online License Renewal (Sirell) for all the regulated by the ANH. We installed the Data Processing Center (DPC). GPS was placed on all tanks that carry products to control them. The star is the B- Sisa (Bolivia Systems Self-Identification) system, which modernized the entire control fuel sales.
Some people criticize the ANH that has lost its oversight role, particularly with YPFB. What about that?
The task is bigger than in times of neoliberalism. When we entered, we looked at each other. We had to rearrange the entire agency and awaken an institution that was asleep. The old Superintendent did not monitor anything. Recall that it was private and were dark and not transparent circuits. Covenants under the table. What could control when everything was private? What was the oil industry before 2006? YPFB did not exist. There was an accomplice superintendency. No regulated the ‘upstream’. Saying that ANH has lost its role is absolutely out of context. Is said by someone who has not the faintest idea of what happened in the hydrocarbon sector. [I profoundly disagree, this is just a political statement to justify his appointment. Easy to proof: just read/watch all hydrocarbon experts remarks on the subject, over the years.]
How many seizures of contraband fuel have been made?
The Hydrocarbon Task Force Interdiction of ANH, in coordination with the Joint Command of the Armed Forces and the Bolivian police seized 2.77 million liters of fuel (diesel , gasoline and kerosene) in 2013. 69 million liters of diesel, 63,930 liters of gasoline and kerosene 14,984.
What do you expect in the next steps?
We want to create a regulatory culture of hydrocarbon that YPFB nor the ANH had on the theme of ‘upstream’. We started with YPFB. We have come a long way, everything that happens in exploration and exploitation is in our center monitoring control, always talking to operators and companies. [… and yet there is smuggling going on…]
What looks as weak points in order to better control the smuggling?
We have to build the computer system to operate the B- Sisa. In addition, more awareness of the people, social control. There are entire populations engaged in smuggling, where even the authorities themselves are rather involved in this issue, especially on the high lands. That is why of social control, denouncing people. Finally, continue with physical patrols we have with the armed forces in the border.
GARY A. MEDRANO V. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL AGENCY OF HYDROCARBONS, ANH – profile:
He was born in La Paz (1970), married with two children. Graduated as a Cavalry Officer in Ecuador. Condor satinador and paratrooper. Commercial Engineer (EMI) and an MBA from the TEC de Monterrey. He was commercial district manager, national marketing manager and advisor of the president of YPFB, Carlos Villegas.
With all the wonders, as stated above, why are there whole towns in the smuggling? If whole towns are immersed in smuggling, what is the purpose, use of social control? I just don’t see it.