Gasoducto del Sur Pipeline Agenda Set for 2007

Representatives of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela have set this year's agenda for advancing the US$20 billion-plus regional Gran Gasoducto del Sur pipeline project, Venezuelan natural gas regulator Enagas' president Jorge Luis Sanchez told BNamericas.

Venezuela's energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez will announce pipeline plans in coming days, Sanchez said.

"Venezuela is still in the project as are all the other countries. The project is moving forward," Sanchez said, dismissing local media reports saying Brazil was looking for alternatives such as enhancing its Bolivian natural gas supplies.

Several factors have conspired over the last year to slow down the project, including presidential elections, Bolivia's nationalization of hydrocarbons and a cabinet reshuffle in Venezuela.

Venezuela estimates the project would cover 8,000-15,000km, starting in Venezuela, crossing Brazil and ending in Argentina. The pipeline possibly could supply Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Venezuela would be the main contributor of gas for the project, although Bolivia would use existing pipeline infrastructure to place additional volumes.

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