Bolivia Postpones Natural Gas Project Decision

Bolivia is postponing a decision for the route of a natural gas pipeline that will transport gas to the Pacific coast for shipment to the United States. Bolivia, which competes with Venezuela for having the largest natural gas reserves in South America, plans to decide whether to send gas via neighboring Chile or Peru, both countries are lobbying heavily to be involved in the $6 billion project. "The government will analyze and define by the end of the year what best suits Bolivia," government spokesman Mauricio Antezana said in a statement.

Outgoing President Jorge Quiroga had recommended Chile be chosen for the pipeline but the new government labeled the government report as "insufficient". The final controversial decision will a part of a huge project to ship liquefied natural gas to the U.S. West Coast and Mexico.

The Pacific LNG consortium partners are BG Group, Repsoland Pan American Energy, a partnership of BP and Bridas Corp., would build and operate the project for Bolivia. It would supply about 800 million cubic feet of the gas daily. The gas exports could bring in $400 million annually in revenue. Bolivia has reserves for 52.3 trillion cubic feet.