Argentina hikes natural gas prices

Friday, March 31, 2017

Argentine natural gas regulator Enargas on Friday approved rate increases for pipeline operators TGN and TGS, as well as for residential and small business consumers.

The measures, part of a broader plan by President Mauricio Macri's government to phase out consumer subsidies for natural gas, will result in a 49% average increase in regulated income for TGN, the latter said in a regulatory filing.

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The rate hike is contingent upon TGN carrying out investments in infrastructure to improve service quality.

Rates for homes and small businesses, meanwhile, will rise 24% on average as of April 1, energy minister Juan José Aranguren said Friday, according to state news service Télam.

Aranguren has said that subsequent rate increases are scheduled for November 2017 and April 2018.

TGN's Norte and Centro Oeste trunk lines allow gas from the Neuquén and Noroeste basins, as well as from Bolivia, to flow to Argentine distributors, thermal power plants, industrial consumers and traders.

TGS, meanwhile, transports 60% of the gas consumed in Argentina, connecting reserves in the south and west with centers of demand.