Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said the suspension of gas from Colombia could affect the supplies that Venezuela sends to that country in the future.
“Colombia suspended its gas and not for anything that happened here, so what I say with all respect to Colombians is that if they continue to do this, we’re not sending them any gas when it’s our turn,” Ramirez told a press conference when asked about the cut in supplies announced by Colombian authorities.
Colombia’s Energy Minister Amylkar Acosta announced in April the suspension of gas to Venezuela to protect the domestic power supply against the expected effects of the El Niño phenomenon.
Ramirez said that Venezuela is increasing its own gas production and that it respects Colombia’s decision.
This is “a resolution we respect, to do with an act of God, an expected atmospheric effect that has never happened, so they cut off our gas,” the Venezuelan official said.
He said “I don’t know if anyone there thought this might cause us some disruption, well it does but we’re ready, we have increased our own gas production.”
“When we have the amount that will be coming from northern Monagas state by the month of July, we’ll have enough to export, which is part of our contract,” the Venezuelan minister said.
According to Ramirez, with the accords to be signed June 4 with Spanish oil company Repsol and Italy’s ENI to exploit condensates in the Perla 3X well in northwestern Venezuela, the country will have “the capacity to supply gas to Colombia.”
In 2005 Venezuela and Colombia signed an agreement to build a gas pipeline, under which Colombia committed itself to supply gas to its neighbor until 2010, after which Venezuela was to supply the hydrocarbon to Colombia.
However, the Colombian supply was extended and is still in force.
Venezuela is currently developing several projects to exploit its multiple gas reserves, with which it hopes to position itself as the fifth largest producer of the hydrocarbon in the world. EFE