Neuquen Maintenance May Impact Exports

The consortium operating the Aguada Pichana gas field in Argentina's Neuquen basin will begin maintenance works on January 9 that could disrupt exports to Chile, the latter country's energy regulator CNE said in a statement.

Maintenance works are due to wrap up January 14. The extent of the effects on exports will depend on climactic and hydrological conditions as well as production levels in other fields, the statement said.

Companies that will be affected in Chile are gas distributor Metrogas and generator Colbun.

Metrogas residential and commercial clients will not be affected, but the company expects restrictions to hit Chile's industrial sector, the statement said, without providing information regarding Colbun.

CNE has made contact with Metrogas, Colbun and the Argentine parties involved, all of which are adopting measures to minimize the impact of the "probable restriction."

Colbun officials declined to provide further comment when contacted by BNamericas.

The Aguada Pichana field, which has a 12Mm3/d production capacity, is operated by a consortium of French oil company Total (NYSE: TOT), Anglo-Argentine oil company Panamerican Energy (PAE) and German oil company Wintershall.

The maintenance is standard technical work carried out in the summer months as a result of Argentina's decreased gas demand.

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