The projected gas pipeline extending for nearly 10 thousand kilometers and linking Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil was christened the Great Southern Gas Pipeline.
"I made the proposal, and presidents Lula and Kirchner agreed," remarked the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez. at the conclusion of a meeting among the three countries, in Brasília.
Confident in the "extraordinary potential" of the project, Chávez proposed that the three countries move ahead with the transformation of gasoline engines into natural gas engines, using Argentinean technology.
"We suggested that the gas pipeline incorporate complementary projects like this one, so that in the future the majority of motor vehicles in South America will consume gas, which is a clean, cheap, and non-polluting energy source," Chávez emphasized.
According to him, this would result in savings of 4 million barrels of petroleum per day in 2020.
The Venezuelan leader pointed out that natural gas reserves in Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina, altogether, amount to around 300 trillion cubic meters.
According to the Brazilian minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, this is probably one of the most important infrastructure projects in South America.
"That is why the presidents concurred that it will have to be open to other countries that have a direct interest either in the gas pipeline or in complementing this energy integration with other energy integration processes already underway in South America," Amorim affirmed.
The Minister informed that the possibility of complementary projects that can confer economic and social benefits on the populations located along the gas pipeline will also be examined.