International Pipeline to Start Ops May 2007



Venezuela will start receiving imports of Colombian gas through its new international pipeline in May 2007, Venezuela's state news agency ABN reported.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe are due to inaugurate the pipeline's construction works on July 8.

The 230km pipeline is designed to connect US oil major Chevron's (NYSE: CVX) gas fields in Colombia's La Guajira department with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA's facilities in Zulia state.

PDVSA will finance the 602bn-bolivar (US$316mn) project, ABN reported. Eventually the pipeline could extend along Colombia's Pacific coast so Venezuela could export its gas to Central America, ABN reported. Venezuela is home to large natural gas deposits and expects to reverse the flow after four years in the pipeline and export to Colombia.

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