Argentina could export gas to Chile by 2018

Friday, September 8, 2017

Argentina could resume exporting natural gas to neighboring Chile as soon as the 2018-19 southern hemisphere summer, something it has not done in commercially meaningful volumes since last decade.

Argentine authorities have been analyzing how to generate demand for gas from the Vaca Muerta shale play during the summer months, when domestic demand is lowest, state news service Télam quoted energy minister Juan José Aranguren as saying.

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During the last two winters, Chile has been exporting regasified LNG to Argentina via the GasAtacama and GasAndes pipelines.

These are the same pipelines through which Argentina expects to dispatch shale gas to Chile in the 2018-19 summer, Aranguren said. The pipelines were originally built for Chile to import Argentine gas.

Reuters on Thursday reported that Chile and Argentina were close to finalizing an energy swap deal that "would allow both countries to send natural gas or electricity at one point of the frontier and obtain needed supplies at another point."

The countries are also negotiating the locations for five additional connection points for cross-border electricity sales, the report said, citing that in 2016 Chile exported 100GWh of electricity to Argentina through a high-tension line owned by AES Gener and 361Mm3 of natural gas, worth nearly US$100mn.