Enagas: Chile Could Join South American NatGas Pipeline Project

Chile, which depends heavily on imported gas, could join South America's Gran Gasoducto del Sur natural gas pipeline project, Venezuela's gas regulator Enagas head Jorge Luis Sanchez told BNamericas.

"The idea is for all the countries along the pipeline's path to get involved," Sanchez said. "Chile should sign up next per our schedule."

Already, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet have discussed the issue.

Making the most of Venezuela's vast yet underexplored natural gas reserves has become the top priority on Chavez's agenda. Bachelet's government is trying to diversify its energy mix given natural gas restrictions and a pending price increase from Argentina.

Enagas is in charge of the pipeline project in Venezuela.

The US$20bn, 15,000km pipeline project started as a way for Argentina and Brazil to buy Venezuelan gas. Two-weeks ago, Bolivia became a partner just weeks after nationalizing its hydrocarbons assets.

Cabinet-level representatives from the following six countries signed an agreement last week to develop the pipeline: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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