The San Miguel-San Matías-Cuiabá pipeline is 631,025 kilometres long and runs from San Miguel through the province of Chiquitos in Santa Cruz to the Brazilian city of Cuiabá.

Given that the pipeline passes through forest territory, GasOriente Boliviano (the owner of the Bolivian section of the pipeline) has measured carefully its environmental impact and specialists are overseeing the reconstruction of the ecosystem that previously existed, in line with norms established by the government and GasOriente, and standard rules concerning the minimization of environmental impact.

Approximately 20 indigenous and non-indigenous communities live in the areas surrounding the pipeline. Accordingly, GasOriente has organized conferences concerning legal ownership of the lands and the communities' rights to property titles. GasOriente is also working directly with the communities to minimize disruption and inform them of the security measures that must be adhered to around the pipeline installations.

By way of compensation to the affected communities, GasOriente is providing funds for the construction of a hospital and school, as well as a system for the provision and storage of water, and an agricultural aid programme.

The exportation of gas through the pipeline to Brazil will consolidate economic bonds between the two countries, aiding Bolivia's economic development and providing Brazil with its main gas resource. The project is a fine example of integration and collaboration between different companies and countries in the energy sector.

For further information on this topic please contact Ricardo Indacochea or Iver Von Borries at Indacochea & Asociados, Abogados by telephone (+591 3 535 356) or by fax (+591 3 581 200) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).