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Chavez's pipe dream blasted in the Post...

By Aleksander Boyd

London 02.03.06 | ... By none other than Gustavo Coronel!! Venezuelan independent voices continue getting recognition. The Washington Post published today, in its letters to the editor section (see below), Gustavos's views about one of Chavez's latest pipe dreams: the 6.000 mile gas pipeline to Argentina. As with all things Chavez, lest of course the alternate road to La Guaira, the pipeline project requirements in terms of logistics, technology, and manpower are enormous. Given the characteristic revolutionary inefficiency, it is quite difficult to imagine how or if this moot project will ever leave the drawing bard and become a tangible reality. In any case the silence from the environmentalists camp is just deafening. Oi Greenpeace and associated creeps, were you not supposed to be preoccupied in the extreme with the Amazon's preservation? Mind you being nature's defenders and all that crap?

Venezuela's Pipeline Strikes Out

Letter to the Editor | Washington Post

Thursday, March 2, 2006; Page A20 | The Feb. 12 news story "A Latin American Pipeline Dream" did not answer three fundamental questions about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's proposal to build a natural gas pipeline: Is it possible, is it economic, is it desirable?

Most probably, it is not possible. Ninety percent of Venezuelan natural gas reserves are associated with oil and cannot be produced at will without ruining the oil reservoirs; 40 percent of the gas currently produced has to be put back into the reservoirs to preserve them. The official projections of Venezuelan gas production for the next decade indicate that the country will have barely enough natural gas to satisfy its domestic needs.

The pipeline probably would not be economic, either. Building costs would be $25 billion to $30 billion, which would require the gas to be sold in Argentina at the equivalent of $110 for a barrel of oil.

Finally, the pipeline would be undesirable for the environment. Amazonia already is in a grave stage of degradation, and a pipeline would constitute a further threat.

In Venezuela poverty runs at more than 80 percent, people die in state hospitals for lack of the most basic help and the unemployment rate is the second-highest in Latin America. Brazil and Argentina should be cautious about supporting this project.


The writer is a former board member of Petroleos de Venezuela, the state-owned petroleum company.

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