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VENEZUELA -- Despite natural gas reserves of 142 Tcf, the Caribbean energy powerhouse is to import Colombian gas to the Lake Maracaibo region through a $200 million, 140 mile pipeline from Colombia’s La Guajira province. State Petroleos de Venezuela and Colombia’s Ecopetrol have a joint feasibility study with Texaco to examine the delivery of some 200 MMcf/d from Colombia to help relieve a 600 MMcf/d deficit in the northern provinces. Long term, PDV also envisions reversing the pipeline flow to export Venezuelan gas to neighbors in Central and South America. For its part, Texaco is keen to secure a ready-made outlet for its 3 Tcf-3.5 Tcf of offshore gas reserves in Colombia. Enron has been mulling since 1999 the idea of building a 200 mile undersea pipeline from Cartagena to the Panamanian port of Colon.

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