LNG FROM ARGENTINA’S VACA MUERTA COULD BE SHIPPED TO ASIAN MARKET THROUGH CHILE’S QUINTERO TERMINAL
Idea would allow it to complement Atlantic and Pacific exports and thus gain markets in Asia.
Projects to build natural gas liquefaction plants from Vaca Muerta, Argentina, to export LNG across the Atlantic Ocean could be complemented with another export terminal in Chile and, in this way, gain markets in Asia. This was proposed by Victoria Sabbioni, CCO of Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC), who stated that one possibility to expand exports from Vaca Muerta is that part of the gas volumes going from Neuquén to Chile could be transformed into LNG shipments to other markets worldwide through the Quintero terminal in the central area of the Chilean coast, reports Econo Journal.
“In the medium term the Chilean market will not demand the volumes of gas imported from Argentina that it has been needing. We should even think about Chile with terminals like those in Quintero. One idea could be to supply that market with what it can consume and export the rest as liquefied gas through the Quintero terminal to obtain markets in Asia”, said Sabbioni at the Energy Day, the energy event organized by EconoJournal and held at the German Equestrian Club in Buenos Aires.
On the other hand, the CGC executive added that “we have to seek multiple integration of the region, including with electric energy, in order to build not only gas integration, but also energy integration. We have to add electric energy. Chile, for example, is having solar energy every day. We could bring that energy during the day and we could send natural gas at night”.
Drop in Argentine gas imports to Chile
In 2022, Chile imported around 8 MMm3/d of Argentine gas during the southern summer. This year shipments were 4 MMm3/d during the same period. According to Sabbioni, the drop in volumes shipped occurred because “Chile is a country that is very accelerated in the process of decarbonization in the framework of the energy transition”.
Another factor that affected the drop in gas exports to Chile had to do with the minimum price established in Argentina. The Energy Secretariat established a minimum gas export price that is currently higher than other sources and loses competitiveness.
“But in reality today we do not have margins against LNG in Chile, but we do it against coal, which has very low international prices and it is going to continue that way. So, what is happening today is that we have a restriction associated with what is the marginal fuel for central Chile,” Sabbioni added.
Santiago Patrón agreed with this scenario: “clearly we have to review the minimum export price to the Chilean market because competition is going to be increasingly strong”.