• Argentina opens tender for $2 bn Vaca Muerta gas pipeline

    Argentina has opened the tender for a new $2 billion gas pipeline from the huge Vaca Muerta shale field, which according to the country’s Energy Secretariat, should be completed the middle of 2021.

    The pipeline, which a government source previously estimated would cost $2 billion, will run from the southern province of Neuquen to Salliquelo, a town in the province of Buenos Aires.

    “It is expected that by the (Southern Hemisphere) winter of 2021 it should be finished, so we are in a hurry to get (the tender) out,” Carlos Casares, undersecretary for hydrocarbons and fuel, told Reuters at the Argentina Oil, Gas, and Energy Summit in Buenos Aires.

    “Any investor that has won the tender will be given an escape route if the economic context does not allow it to be built,” he said, explaining that they had to take into account upcoming elections that are stoking political uncertainty.

    President Mauricio Macri, who will seek re-election in October, is betting on the development of Vaca Muerta to cut energy imports and make the country a net exporter of hydrocarbons, creating a new source of foreign currency income.

    Vaca Muerta is a non-conventional hydrocarbon formation the size of Belgium, which could house one of the largest reserves of unconventional hydrocarbons in the world.

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