AVPG: Gas Certification Necessary Step for Gran Gasoducto del Sur

Having a third party certify Venezuela's gas reserves is a necessary step in a project such as the Gran Gasoducto del Sur, the US$25bn pipeline connecting Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela that President Hugo Chavez is championing, Venezuelan gas processors' association (AVPG) president Tito Bonadonna told BNamericas.

The whole project, which would entail from 8,000-15,000km of pipe and 5-7 years construction time, is based on Venezuela's long-standing claim of over 150 trillion cubic feet in "probable" reserves.

Brazilian officials last week doubted Venezuelan official estimates.

"There are no official numbers yet, let's be very clear on that," said Bonadonna. "You have to certify reserves... what we have now are expectations the results will be favorable."

Certifying the reserves could take two years, Bonadonna said.

"Once the decision is taken, of course," he added. "But it's not crazy to want the reserves certified."

"It's logical from a technical standpoint before starting work of these dimensions. In practice, the probabilities of success are very high, but this is a high-risk business," Bonadonna said. As to who can certify the reserves, he suggested "a third party" other than PDVSA or the private companies doing natural gas E&P in Venezuela.

Sources from PDVSA Gas were not immediately available for comment on Monday.

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