Gas Trade in the Southern Cone

Working Papers

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Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper #29

May 2004

Southern cone final

Discussions of trade in natural gas in South America's Southern Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) began as early as the 1950s. But it was not until 1972 that the first international gas pipeline in the region, linking Bolivia and Argentina, was built. It was twenty years later before significant gas pipeline projects integrating Chile and Argentina were proposed, followed by one large project connecting Bolivia and Brazil.

This paper examines three historical cases to understand why there was a 25 year lag between the first international pipeline project and the others, and to uncover key factors that determine why particular pipeline projects were built while similar proposed pipelines languished.

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