Argentina is poised to more than double its purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the spot market this winter, in a bid to avoid a deficit.
Imports into the Bahía Blanca port have been suspended since 2018, in the hope of being able to cover any deficit using its own shale gas, but the nation plans to resume them next month. Low prices and the coronavirus pandemic have slowed new drilling, prompting a fuel shortage and the government's subsequent decision to increase imports for the winter in the southern hemisphere.
State-run Integración Energética Argentina (IEASA) has issued a tender seeking 13 shipments for delivery between May and August to Bahía Blanca, where a new floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) will be parked for almost 100 days from the end of of May. The company had already purchased 24 partial loads to deliver during the same period to its other FSRU unit on the Paraná river.
If the latest tender is fully awarded, Argentina's winter LNG import volumes from the spot market will more than double compared to the same period last year, when the Covid-19 outbreak disrupted the country's economy. That would make it one of the fastest growing LNG spot markets this year.
by Stephen Stapczynski, Bloomberg