Lula and Chí¡vez Go Ahead with Brazil-Venezuela Gas Pipeline

The presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, signed during the Mercosur Summit, a statement concerning the first construction phase of the Gas Pipeline of the South.

According to the document, the first section will link Güiria, in Venezuela, to the Port of Suape, in northeastern Brazilian city Recife. In further phases, the Pipeline should also cater to Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as any other countries in the region that may adhere to the project.

According to the statement, the two governments decided to accelerate studies regarding technical, environmental and economic viability of the project. The "visualization and conceptual engineering" of the project should be concluded by the end of 2007.

The president of Petrobras, José Sérgio Gabrielli, stated that the Mariscal Sucre gas field, in Venezuela, is going to supply half its production, 17 million cubic meters of gas a day, to the Pipeline.

Also yesterday, the presidents of Petrobras and of Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, signed a letter of intention involving, among others, the following projects under study: the development of five oil fields in Venezuela, with 40% percent participation by Petrobras and 60% by Venezuela; and the creation of a plant in Venezuela for improving extra-heavy oil from the Orinoco Strip.

The letter of intent also includes the establishment of a joint capital company to develop the Carabobo-1 extra-heavy oil field, also in Venezuela, controlled by PDVSA, with Petrobras controlling the refinery to be jointly constructed in the northeastern Brazilian city of Pernambuco; and the continuation of viability studies for the Mariscal Sucre gas complex, which is directly linked to the project of the Gas Pipeline of the South. According to Petrobras, when working at full capacity, the complex should process 50 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Anba – www.anba.com.br

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