Chile announces important advance with Argentina to import gas without interruptions

BUENOS AIRES – President Sebastián Piñera, together with Chile’s Minister of Energy Susana Jiménez, on Wednesday met with the Energy Secretary of Argentina, Gustavo Lopetegui, in Buenos Aires to discuss the progress made in gas marketing between the two countries.

During the meeting, the President pointed out the importance of deepening the energy ties currently maintained between Chile and Argentina, recalling that in October 2018 the gas commercialization between both countries was reactivated after more than a decade.

In the instance, Susana Jiménez announced that the Chilean government achieved an important advance with Argentina to have firm gas import contracts between September and April, that is, without interruptions during that period. This is a significant change from what currently exists, in which the delivery of gas can be interrupted.

“We had a very productive meeting in which we had important progress that will mean, among other things, firm contracts for the importation of gas from September and for the 8 months not winters, that means we are already moving forward more and more in integration. Therefore, we have a great expectation of the opportunities that this opens up for all our industrial and residential sectors, as well as electricity generation in Chile,” announced Susana Jiménez.

During the meeting, the authorities of Chile and Argentina confirmed their greater political will to continue promoting the energy integration between both countries and highlighted the main benefits of promoting new electrical interconnections with a focus on achieving greater robustness and resilience of electrical systems in the face of energy emergency situations.

Likewise, the benefit of better use and greater penetration of variable renewable energies in interconnected systems was stressed, as well as the optimization of shared infrastructure and complementary energy resources.

In addition, in terms of natural gas exchanges, the current natural gas import operations from Argentina were followed up, and new opportunities were analyzed regarding the supply of hydrocarbons from Vaca Muerta, in Neuquén.

In this regard, it was pointed out that currently around 30 contracts for the importation of Argentine natural gas have been authorized between a dozen buyers in Chile and trans-Andean suppliers.

Advances in energy integration

In April 2018, during an official visit of President Sebastián Piñera to Argentina, the 30th Additional Protocol to Economic Complementation Agreement N°16 was signed to promote the free commercialization of natural gas and electric power between both countries.

Within the framework of this protocol, in October 2018, the resumption of imports of natural gas from Argentina was completed, which was a historic milestone after more than a decade of suspension of free trade operations.

During the launching of the Energy Route in May 2018, President Piñera commissioned the Ministry of Energy to include an “eleventh mega-commitment”, referred to promote energy integration with Argentina and Peru.

According to official data, the Vaca Muerta basin, in Neuquén, holds the second place in the world in terms of unconventional gas resources.

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