Due to delays in the reversal of the North gas pipeline, Argentina will continue importing gas from Bolivia | The government announced an addendum to the contract for two months

Due to delays in the reversal of the North gas pipeline, Argentina will continue importing gas from Bolivia | The government announced an addendum to the contract for two months
Due to delays in the reversal of the North gas pipeline, Argentina will continue importing gas from Bolivia | The government announced an addendum to the contract for two months

The state Argentine Energy (Enarsa) announced a new addendum to the contract with Bolivia to ensure the provision of natural gas for northern demand of the country for the months of August and september. In this way, the government plans to mitigate a new scenario of gas shortage as a result of the delayed completion of the Reversion of the Northern Gasduct, a key work so that Vaca Muerta gas can supply the north of Argentina.

The – for now – state-owned company, given that it is part of the list of companies subject to privatization in the Bases Law, announced that it signed with Bolivian Fiscal Oil Fields (YPFB) the ninth addendum to the contract that “will allow the central and northern areas of the country to be supplied with up to 4 MMm3/day depending on the requirements of internal demand, while the Reversion of the Northern Gasduct project, currently underway, is completed,” he stated in a statement.

The supply contract between Argentina and Bolivia, which supplies gas to 7 provinces in the center and north of the country, It had an expiration date of July 31st., after decades of validity. With the new renewal, it will be extended for two more months, with the objective that once the extension period has expired, the Reversion of the Northern Gasduct will be completed and the demand will begin to be covered with resources from Vaca Muerta.

Reversal of the northern gas pipeline

The reversal of the northern gas pipeline It was priority number two of the previous administration after the inauguration and start-up of the Néstor Kirchner Gasduct. Is one of the key works to boost the production of Vaca Muerta and supply the northwest provinces affected by the decline in gas production in Bolivia. Is about turn the pumps that today put pressure on the gas to come down from Bolivia and add some more pipes.

The work will allow bring the gas from Vaca Muerta to the industries of Córdoba, Tucumán, La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Salta and Jujuy, as well as the connection of homes to natural gas networks and the scale development of new industrial activities, especially lithium mining. In addition to lowering the cost of electricity generation and natural gas for the industries of northern Argentina, this strategic work will allow annual savings of 1,960 million dollars by replacing gas imports.

In the initial calendar they estimated that the work could be ready by May of this year, but the change of government and the stoppage of public works delayed the plans. Due to its importance and despite the fact that the Minister of Economy Luis Caputo had announced that no new public works would be put out to tender and the approved tenders whose development had not yet been finalized would be cancelled, Enarsa continued with the tender. In January, the envelopes were opened for the bidding of two of the three sections into which the project was subdivided, in charge of the UTE Techint-SACDE. In mid-March, he was awarded BTU the third of the sections that had been left vacant.

Enarsa reported that “the TGN gas pipeline reversal project, will be in operations on September 15 allowing to bring to the northern provinces an additional 5 MMm3/day to the current ones and in a second stage another 4 MMm3/day.”

Gas on several fronts

After the crisis due to the lack of gas in May, the Government seeks to ensure that this scenario is not repeated in the middle of the coldest months of the year, so in addition to the agreement with the Bolivian oil company, in recent weeks it has made progress in concretizing negotiations with Brazil and Chile to reinforce the supply.

With Brazil, at the end of April the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Enarsa and Petrobras for a period of three years with different purposes, among which is “to solve the gas supply of the NOA while the recently tendered works for the reversal of the “North Gasduct.”

Meanwhile, Chile agreed last week with the state-owned Enap to import natural gas to supply northern Argentina from the Mejillones Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal. In this regard, the Chilean Ministry of Energy reported that “Engie Energía Chile and Enap Refinerías will sign a natural gas purchase and sale contract to export the volumes arranged to Enarsa.”

 
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