Bolivia increased its gas exports to Brazil and Argentina in May due to rising demand amid a cold Southern Hemisphere winter, state-owned energy company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, or YPFB, said.

Domestic and foreign gas sales averaged 50.17 million cubic meters per day in May, up 25 percent from the same month in 2011, YPFB said.

Bolivia exported 41.28 million cubic meters per day of gas to Brazil and Argentina due to a surge in demand from power plants as temperatures plummeted, the state-owned energy company said.

"Demand rose in Brazil because the thermal (power plants) saw volume rise and demand in Argentina hit a maximum due to the cold," YPFB natural gas division director Jorge Sosa said.

Demand at Brazilian energy giant Petrobras peaked on May 28 at 31.63 million cubic meters per day, while Argentina's Enarsa posted peak demand of 13.7 million cubic meters per day in mid-May, consuming double the volume registered in April.

YPFB was able to handle the surge in demand for gas from Argentina thanks to the new processing plant inaugurated on May 1 by President Evo Morales and the CEO of Spanish oil company Repsol, Antonio Brufau, at the Margarita field in southern Bolivia. EFE