The Brazilian gas company Petrobras wants to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the Chilean market. Petrobras already has LNG projects in Brazil and Uruguay, and officials there are now looking at the possibility of connecting a network of gas pipelines with Chile.
Chilean Petrobras Executive Rafael Fernández confirmed that the company has talked with Chilean companies. "In the last few weeks we have brought together various companies that are great consumers of gas, especially in the electricity sector, and we have looked over all of their interests."
Specifically, Petrobras is considering an "energy swap" with Chile. This means that the company would export LNG via gas pipelines from Montevideo, through Buenos Aires to Chile. At the same time, this plan would permit Petrobras to access the current gas pipeline network between Argentina and Chile.
The potential swap is in the first stages of development. Still, Fernández is not certain that gas and electricity companies are interested in negotiating with Petrobras. "I see complications in at least the next two years of supplying electricity and gas. And these things could get even more complicated," said Fernández.
Last April, Petrobras and Chile's National Oil Company (Enap) pledged to work together in areas including biofuel, oil exploration, and LNG and energy distribution. It now seems that Petrobras has taken the first steps towards connecting the two countries via a strengthening of the LNG activities.
Petrobras has 13 million barrels of oil and gas, and can produce 1.6 million barrels daily. This amount dwarfs Chile's daily consumption rate of 230 thousand barrels. Petrobras can supply 43.5 million cubic meters of natural gas, twice Chile's daily demand.
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