Colombia closer to LPG imports as supply crunch looms

Bnamericas Published: Friday, December 13, 2019
Colombia closer to LPG imports as supply crunch looms

Colombia will need to import liquified petroleum gas (LPG) by August next year as rising household demand strains local inventories, according to national industry group Gasnova

The Bogotá-based entity said the supply crunch would be heightened by state oil company Ecopetrol's decision to seek alternative off-takers.  

"Ecopetrol expects to use LPG from its production for other uses that are more profitable than the domestic public service," it said in a statement. 

According to Gasnova, LPG sales have climbed more than 2% year on year in 2019. From January to October, sales averaged 51,792t per month, driven by demand in the departments of Antioquia, Cundinamarca, Nariño and Valle del Cauca, as well as capital Bogotá. 

Earlier this year, Colombia published LPG quality parameters for transport and electric power generation, among other uses. 

The mines and energy ministry has also created an LPG operation and supply committee, which it says will help avoid a future deficit of the fuel and ensure the smooth running of its value chain. 

According to government forecasts, national LPG production will fall 3.4% annually over the next four years while demand rises.

A resolution published last December authorized the entry of new players in the LPG market and paved the way for imports of the fuel.

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