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    Chile's first sea-oil has started to flow. And daily production could reach three thousand cubic?

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    Chile's first sea-oil has started to flow. And daily production could reach three thousand cubic meters a day.

    SYNOPSIS: The occasion was extremely important for Chile, whose land-based oil supplies are running out. One Monday, (8 January) a special ceremony was held at the shore based collection terminal at Punta Catalina, about 170 kilometres (105.6) north east of Punta Arenas. President Augusto Pinochet was the guest of honour.

    The triumphant moment came when President Pinochet opened the valve to start the oil flowing.

    The filed from which the oil comes is off the car southern coast of Chile in the Magellan Starits....an area of tension for Chile. It's not far from the Beagle Channel and the three islands which have been the subject of hot dispute with Argentina. After the shore ceremony, the President and his party boarded a ship to sail to the rig where the oil is drilled.

    It's estimated that there are thirty million cubic meters (1.059 billion cubic feet) of oil to be won in the area and some eighty million cubic (2.825 billion cubic feet) meters of gas. Work on the operation began in 1974 and 1976 the rig "Nuggett" sailed from Texas to the area to begin exploration. The operation is controlled by the government owned ENAP oil company but the exploration work was carried out by a company form Texas in the United States. Chile hopes the oil field will save about two hundred million dollars (U.S.) a year on oil imports.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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