Argentina will open tender for Vaca Muerta gas pipeline project
The Energy Secretariat of Argentina will open a tender for a new gas pipeline from the Vaca Muerta shale gas field in the Neuquén province by the end of July 2019. The construction of the first stage of the project should be commissioned by mid-2021. The gas pipeline project would deliver 15 mcm/d (nearly 5.5 bcm/year) of gas from Vaca Muerta to Salliquelo in the Buenos Aires province, displacing LNG imports. It could be expanded in successive phases to 40 mcm/d (14.6 bcm/year).
Argentina bets on the Vaca Muerta field to improve domestic energy supply. Argentina's energy trade balance went from a US$6.1bn surplus in 2006 to a US$6.9bn deficit in 2013; the deficit was cut to US$2.3bn in 2018 and is expected to close to balance in 2019. Shale gas production from Vaca Muerta has increased steadily in the last two years, doubling in the last 12 months. The gas transmission network thus needs to be expanded to handle additional gas production volumes and transport them to large consuming areas such as the area between Greater Buenos Aires and Rosario.
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