Enap believes natural gas surplus is possible in 5 years

Oct 25, 2007 02:00 AM

Chile's central and northern regions could enjoy a natural gas surplus in five years, giving the country room to export the fuel to neighbour Argentina, Enrique Davila, chief executive of Chile's state oil company Enap, said at the Argentina Oil & Gas Expo in Buenos Aires.
Thanks to regasification projects, Chile's central and northern region could have 20 mm cmpd of supply five years from now, well above demand, he said in response to a question on how exports are possible given Chile's demand of 22 mm-23 mm cmpd.

Chile's central and northern regions demand 12 mm-13 mm cmpd and the south 10 mm cmpd, Davila said, explaining the surplus forecast is for the central and north regions. But export cuts from Argentina have forced industries in central and northern Chile to rely on diesel. If demand for natural gas in central and northern Chile exceeds 13 mm cmpd in coming years, other energy sources such as coal and hydro still would give Chile space to export to Argentina, he said.
"We understand the situation and have to seek solutions," he said about the energy shortages in both countries. "We can take advantage of what we've we learned from the crisis and become better integrated in the future."

The Enap director said at a conference earlier this month in Santiago that Chile could start exporting gas in 2009 or 2010 to Argentina if the neighbour could guarantee gas exports to his country until then.
Under the swap proposal, Chile would export the gas to Mendoza in central-west Argentina in return for gas supply along the GasAndes or Pacifico pipelines or somewhere else in Chile's copper-rich north, Davila said at the conference.

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