Neuquen Basin Ops Stop, Exports Down

A scheduled stop in operations at the Aguada Pichana field in Argentina's Neuquen basin plus an increase in demand have prompted gas export cuts through the GasAndes pipeline to central Chile.

Gas distributors in Chile have guaranteed supply to commercial and residential clients, Chile's energy regulator CNE said in a statement.

A consortium of French oil company Total (NYSE: TOT), Anglo-Argentine oil firm Pan American Energy and German oil company Wintershall operate the Aguada Pichana field.

Chile has faced gas restrictions from Argentina since 2004, prompting the former to take steps to diversify its energy sources away from its neighbor. Gas export cuts in 1Q07 had a marked effect on the earnings of Chilean generators and distributors.

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