Another oil invasion?

Published: Thursday 15 February 2007

Despite protests by the Colombian indigenous Wayu community, the Venezuela government-run oil company Petrleos de Venezuela (pdv) recently agreed to allow the laying of the Venezuelan-Colombian Trans-Caribbean gas pipeline across the Wayu territory.

The agreement was signed after pdv agreed to compensate the indigenous people for environmental damage to their land. The Wayu community, however, alleged that neither the Colombian nor the Venezuelan government took the indigenous people into account while discussing the social policies to be implemented for the native communities. So, they refute to lift protests until "the agreement becomes socialised with all the communities".

The 250-km pipeline project, worth us$355 million, will link the western Venezuelan city of Maracaibo with eastern Colombia's Puerto Ballenas. The pipeline will transit 150 million cubic feet of gas a day from Colombia to Venezuela during the initial four years. Later, experts say, Venezuela might stand to profit from the deal. The construction work on the pipeline in Colombia started in December 2006.

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