Salta Signs Contract for US$25mn Anta Pipeline with Conta

The governor of Argentina's Salta province, Juan Carlos Romero, has signed a contract with local company Conta for construction of the 79mn-peso (US$25.4mn) Anta gas pipeline, the provincial government reported in a statement.

The 186km pipeline would supply a growing soy, livestock and orange industry in the province's east.

The eight-inch diameter pipeline would run from the Lumbreras gas compression plant to Juramento river and then branch off to the north and south.

The pipeline could be completed before next year's southern hemisphere winter, BNamericas previously reported.

Conta would initially finance 100% of the works and the province would return the investment over the course of 24 monthly payments after project completion.

Pipeline construction will start at the beginning of 2007 and will require at least six months for completion, a spokesperson in Salta's department of mining and energy resources told BNamericas.


Romero also will sign a document for the pre-awarding of E&P for four oil companies.

A consortium of Argentine oil company Tecpetrol and Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) will be awarded the Hickman block, while Petrobras alone will win the Chirete block.

US oil company Occidental (NYSE: OXY) will be awarded the Tartagal Oriental block, while Korean oil company Petroterra will win the Malvala block.

The four blocks are among the six hydrocarbons areas that brought in total bids of US$220mn.

Petroterra was the only company to submit bids for the other two blocks - Morillo and La Union - but would not have been able to satisfy the investment requirements. As a result, the province will receive offers from other companies interested in the two blocks this month, a spokesperson from Salta's provincial government told BNamericas.

The six blocks cover more than 29,000 sq km combined and are classified as medium and high risk.

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