Gas supply problems due to delays in works and climatic factors — OPI Santa Cruz

Gas supply problems due to delays in works and climatic factors — OPI Santa Cruz
Gas supply problems due to delays in works and climatic factors — OPI Santa Cruz

Gas, Inflation, Rates, Increases – Photo: OPI Santa Cruz/Francisco Muñoz

The early arrival of winter, combined with delays in the completion of key works and poor purchasing programming, has caused our country to face a new winter with serious problems in the gas supply. Despite the expectation that the construction of the gas pipeline from Vaca Muerta would be a definitive solution, the anomalous climate situation has multiplied the problems.

In response to this crisis, the Government has declared an energy pre-emergency, which has resulted in supply cuts for users with interruptible contracts.

The former Secretary of Energy, Daniel Montamat, consulted by the NA news agency, described a complicated outlook for the coming months. “Winter was anticipated and we are demanding about 140 million cubic meters (m3) per day due to the increase in residential demand, which doubled to 70-80 million m3,” Montamat explained. In addition, he pointed out that the industrial sector is in semi-recession in different parts of the country, which has prevented even greater demand.

Montamat also highlighted the problems on the supply side: “Bolivia is sending us less gas and we should have started earlier the works to revert the Northern gas pipeline to inject gas from Vaca Muerta. “These works have started but will not be ready for winter, which will result in restrictions in the northern part of the country.” He added that the “Neuba III gas pipeline (which transports Vaca Muerta gas) is started and completed in a first stage, transmitting 11 million m3 per day when it should be transporting twice as much.”

In addition, Montamat pointed out a delay in the compression works necessary to increase the capacity of the gas pipeline and criticized the purchasing schedule: “20 LNG ships were imported, but more are possibly needed.”

Emilio Apud, another former Secretary of Energy, agreed with the diagnosis and emphasized the errors in the construction of the NEUBA III gas pipeline, “misnamed Néstor Kirchner.” Apud criticized the management of the pipeline, pointing out that, despite having been inaugurated several times, it is not yet completed and currently transports only 11 million m3 when it should carry 22 million m3.

Apud also stressed that the Government had planned to import 20 LNG ships and has now ordered 10 more. To prevent power plants from using diesel, which is five times more expensive than gas, they have resorted to cutting off the supply to those with interruptible contracts. Despite recognizing that they inherited a complicated situation, Apud criticized the lack of speed of the current Government to accelerate payments to the firms in charge of the compressor plants, which would have allowed for an additional 10 million m3 per day.

Cecilia Garibotti, former undersecretary of energy planning and director of the Encuentro Foundation, also expressed concern. “Last year we assured that with the President Néstor Kirchner Gasduct we could supply the country with local gas, complemented with compressor plants and the reversal of the North Gasduct. However, all these works have been stopped by the current Government,” said Garibotti. (IPO Santa Cruz Agency) With information from NA

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