Venezuela's plans with Colombia display stagnated gas sector
Colombian supply suggests delays in local extraction
The enlivened Venezuela-Colombia trade and political relationship refreshed the attempts at pooling the potentials of both countries in the sector of hydrocarbons by cashing in on a shared border and the Colombian access to ports on the Pacific Ocean.
However, in dusting off the plans to extend the Antonio Ricaurte gas pipeline and lay a new one from Orinoco Oil Belt, Venezuela's delay in the gas sector was uncovered. Despite counting on more than 190 TCF (trillion cubic feet) in reserves of natural gas, its development has not started yet.
Last week, the renewal for three years of an agreement on supply of Colombian natural gas from Ballena field, in the Colombian Guajira, was announced. Under this agreement, Colombia is set to provide Venezuela with 150 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas.
Gas and oil pipelines
Upon the visit of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to Venezuela last week, a letter of commitment was signed to develop the "Binational Project on the Venezuela-Colombia Oil Pipeline."
The far-flung proposal deals with the laying of a 3,000 kilometer-pipeline from Orinoco Oil Belt to Tumao Port, on the Colombian shore at the Pacific Ocean, on the border with Ecuador.
For Venezuela, a potential access for its oil via Pacific is of the essence, even more so as the oil shipments to Asia, particularly to China, account for more than 400,000 bpd.
Further, the expansion of the Antonio Ricaurte gas pipeline resumes a project that was halted because of the severed ties of Venezuela and Colombia. The Ricaurte section of the Transoceanic Gas Pipeline is 224.5 kilometers in length, for a total cost of USD 463 million.
Now, there is news of a project for "the enlargement of the network of gas pipelines of Colombia and Venezuela to the territories of Panama and Ecuador in order to supply gas to those countries."
Translated by Conchita Delgado
The very early morning after the presidential election (April 15), both candidates requested the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full audit of the process: one, Henrique Capriles, because he asserts that the election results are different from the ones announced, and the other one, Nicolás Maduro, in order to clear any doubt regarding his victory, and to reinforce his political stance. Nevertheless, as it is already known, President Maduro changed his mind.