Enagas Denies Reports of 15,000km Pipeline Project Halt

The project to build the 8,000-15,000km Gran Gasoducto del Sur natural gas pipeline linking Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela has not stopped, a Venezuelan government official said, refuting Argentine media reports.

Media reported project works had stopped due to rifts between Brazil and new project partner Bolivia, blaming the latter's move to nationalize hydrocarbons as the cause of tensions.

But Venezuela's gas regulator Enagas president Jorge Luis Sanchez said the reports are untrue and that his organization is promoting the plan.

"Actually, what I'm doing here is explaining how the project is moving forward in time, how it is progressing," he said over the phone from Mexico, where he is attending the Olade energy integration conference.

"We are telling people at Olade what we are doing with [the 15,000km pipeline] and with the gas pipeline from Colombia," Sanchez said in reference to a pipeline project between Venezuela and Colombia. Both projects are moving ahead "as scheduled, if not faster."

Construction on the Colombia-Venezuela pipeline started two months ago and the Gran Gasoducto pipeline is still in the planning stage.

The Gran Gasoducto pipeline will run 8,000-15,000km depending on the route and will cost at least US$20bn to build, according to Enagas figures.

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