Texas-based floating LNG solutions provider Excelerate Energy and Argentina’s energy company Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS) signed a memorandum of understanding to study an LNG export project in the city of Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
Argentina currently imports liquefied natural gas through two floating import terminals, particularly during the country’s peak winter consumption.
The duo said in a statement that the successful development of Argentina’s shale gas reserves resulted in a potential excess of natural gas during the summer months.
“The project aims at studying the technical and commercial viability of liquefying and exporting natural gas during the summer season, allowing a more sustainable development of shale gas resources and reducing Argentina’s annual natural gas net import needs,” the statement said.
The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, at which time Excelerate and TGS will share the results with government and industry officials and decide on further actions towards the implementation of the project.
“Given the high seasonality of Argentina’s natural gas consumption, LNG has played a critical role in meeting the country’s energy demands,” said Excelerate’s Chief Commercial Officer Daniel Bustos.
Bustos added that this project would “significantly enhance Argentina’s capacity to maximize the use of local resources by allowing a more predictable development of shale gas production while reducing the overall costs of importing LNG.”
The statement noted that TGS is currently carrying out a midstream project aimed at the transportation and conditioning of the natural gas production derived from the Vaca Muerta Basin, located in the province of Neuquén, Argentina.
This project represents an “essential contribution” to the development of shale gas reserves, promoted by the National and Provincial Governments, as it will ensure the infrastructure required to inject incremental gas production to the main transportation systems, it said.
“Carrying out LNG production through the project will be key to promote the development of unconventional gas, since it will allow to expand the scale of the gas market, increasing export opportunities, after having met domestic market needs in Argentina,” said TGS´ Chief Commercial Officer Néstor Martín.
Both Excelerate and TGS have been involved in the growth of the Argentine energy industry.
Currently, one hundred percent of LNG imported and regasified into the country is through Excelerate’s two floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs).
Excelerate developed South America’s first LNG import terminal in 2008 in Bahía Blanca, following with the second terminal in 2011 in Escobar, Argentina.
TGS is the largest natural gas transportation company in Argentina and owns and operates South America’s biggest pipeline network.