The presence of significant natural gas resources in the heartland of South America (Figure 1) provides opportunities for large-scale projects and continental integration that appeal to the planner's creativity and appear to be conceptually logical, but have thus far proved elusive and difficult to materialize. The thesis of this paper is that some of the key and dominant factors are in place for imminent and large-scale development of natural gas in the Southern Cone nations: resources, markets and democratic political stability. However, even when pure project economics are favorable, the political will of the nations' governments are, per se, no longer sufficient to carry projects into execution and the role of principal sponsor now requires the support of private enterprise and private capital markets


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