Argentina and Chile

With an eye on Chile gas exports, Argentina’s CGC mulls midstream projects

Bnamericas Published: Friday, August 26, 2022

Amid heightened interest in Argentina in boosting natural gas exports to Chile, hydrocarbons player CGC said it was mulling associated projects.

Argentina’s gas industry is ramping up output and working to gradually build firm year-round exports to Chile, while also eyeing the possibility of eventually exporting LNG, with one option involving the conversion of Chilean LNG infrastructure.  


Argentina’s No. 6 player by hydrocarbons output, CGC is among the companies eyeing gas opportunities. GCG, among other midstream assets, has a 43% operating stake in main gas export pipeline GasAndes, which transports Vaca Muerta formation production to Chile’s Santiago metropolitan region.

CGC is considering installing GasAndes compression infrastructure, the company’s gas, power and midstream commercial manager Victoria Sabbioni said. 

“We have the possibility of being able to increase supply that today goes to central Chile. You can double export capacity currently available, in a way that you can not only meet all the demand of Santiago de Chile but also generate flows of gas that could reach the Asian market via LNG supply,” Sabbioni said during a seminar hosted by natural gas market trading platform Megsa.

Compression would boost nameplate GasAndes transport capacity from 10.5Mm3/d currently to 17Mm3/d. Actual transport capacity is around 5Mm3/d in winter and 9Mm3/d in summer on account of available capacity of feeder infrastructure operated by TGN, a midstream concessionaire that CGC has a 28% stake in.    

“Installing a compression plant is quite challenging because it needs installing at the highest point of the mountain range, but we have a project that we’re analyzing for this capacity,” Sabbioni said. “Obviously, in parallel with this, you’d need to carry out TGN infrastructure work so that this 17Mm3/d can flow to GasAndes.”

With domestic gas demand in central Chile around 10Mm3/d, volumes above that could be converted into LNG in Chile – where existing infrastructure would need converting – and shipped to Asia, the webcast was told. 

Argentine exports via GasAndes were 3.25Mm3/d in July, up 80% year-on-year, according to data from gas regulator Enargas. Exports climb as local demand slides in Argentina, with shipments, for example, hitting 6.13Mm3/d in February, up 24%.  


Argentina has another central region export pipeline to Chile, the 5.2Mm3/d Gasoducto del Pacífico, which runs between Neuquén basin gas field Loma La Lata – where state hydrocarbons firm YPF has production assets – and Chilean region Biobío. Associated exports were 370,000m3/d in July, up from zero a year earlier and 310,000m3/d the previous month. Exports in February this year were 190,000m3/d, up 29% year-on-year.

This year Chile and Argentina struck a firm export deal, involving 300,000m3/d via Gasoducto del Pacífico.


In 2020, CGC cut the ribbon on underground gas storage facility Sur Río Chico, in Santa Cruz province, where the company is the biggest natural gas producer. The facility is designed to receive 1Mm3/d in summer and pump out 2Mm3/d in winter, when demand climbs.

CGC is today looking at “very promising” storage opportunities, south of Mendoza province’s namesake capital, near to demand hubs, Sabbioni said.

Stored gas could help meet winter demand peaks, freeing up other production for export.


CGC’s production climbed around 60% last year, following the acquisition of Chinese player Sinopec Argentina, obtaining more than 4,600km of assets, chiefly in the Golfo San Jorge and Cuyana basins. Output is over 50,000boe/d. 

Working to ramp up production – efforts now bearing fruit in the Golfo San Jorge basin – CGC’s gas output has averaged around 1Mm3/d above its injection commitment of 3.6Mm3/d under production incentives program Plan Gas.

Nationally, natural gas production was 139Mm3/d in June, up 9.6% year-on-year, according to a report from energy think tank General Mosconi institute. Output from Vaca Muerta was 53.4Mm3/d, up 38.7%.

ALSO READ: Argentina’s 5 biggest oil and gas producers

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