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Chávez admits defeat on Gran Gasoducto del Sur

August 4, 2007

As if it were a huge surprise, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez admitted that interest in building the 10,00km-long Gran Gasoducto del Sur pipeline, which would stretch from Venezuela to Argentina, “has cooled.”

If built, the pipeline would have been the biggest ever in Latin America with a throughput capacity of 150 million cu m/d.  For the sake of comparison, the 3,150km Bolivia-Brazil pipeline has a capacity to transport 30 million cu m/d.

Petrobras President Jose Sergio Gabrielli said in June that it would take 25-30 years before the pipeline became operational.  Without the backing of Petrobras, Venezuelan state-owned energy group PdVSA can never aspire to build the pipeline.

Taking into account Brazil’s headaches due to its problems in Bolivia because of nationalization, it’s highly doubtful that Latin America’s biggest economy wants to depend on any neighboring country for energy at the moment. 

After the region opened up to dergulation and greater energy integration in the 1990s, this decade has been quite different. The aim is energy self-sufficiency not dependency.  

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