El Paso Energy International announced final agreements havebeen signed by the partners of an international consortium to buildthe 325-mile Gasoducto del Pacifico pipeline from Argentina acrossthe Andes mountains into Chile, roughly 300 miles south ofSantiago. Construction on the $380 million project has alreadybegun and the pipeline is scheduled to be in service by late 1999.The initial delivery capacity of the system is estimated to be 140MMcf/d.

“This pipeline project is the result of a strong consortium ofpartners all with the common goal of linking Argentine gas suppliesto millions of Chilean customers,” said John Hushon, president ofEl Paso Energy International. “The project not only involves aconsortium of producers selling gas from Argentina into Chile, italso includes plans to transport and market gas to large industrialcustomers and eventually provide power generation capabilities tothe region as well.” The project includes a $44 million natural gastransportation and marketing company, which will serve industrialcustomers in the region. Gas Natural del Sur, a $14 millioncommercial and residential natural gas distribution system, willserve customers in and around Concepcion.

El Paso Energy International, through its Triunion Energy jointventure, owns 21.8% of the project, second only to NOVA’s 30%stake. The other partners include Chile’s Empresa Nacional delPetroleo (ENAP), Compania de Consumidores de Gas S.A. (GASCO), andYPF S.A. of Argentina.

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