Enap Chief: Magallanes Could Meet Chile's NatGas Needs for 20 Years

Natural gas in southern Chile's Magallanes region could meet the country's needs for the next 20 years, according to Enrique Davila, president of state oil company Enap.

Davila said he was sure hydrocarbons existed in the region but that investment was needed to exploit them properly.

"I'm sure if we do things right, there will be results," said Davila, who was speaking at Enap's second annual public address before the senate.

Davila later told BNamericas his estimate of the Magallanes reserves was a "personal hypothesis" and that no one knew for sure exactly how much natural gas was there.

Chile's government earlier this month launched E&P tenders for 10 hydrocarbons blocks in the Magallanes basin. Enap will hold 50% shares in three of the blocks but will not act as operator.

The Magallanes tenders are one of Enap's primary strategies toward reducing Chile's dependence on Argentina for natural gas.

Many natural gas-fired plants in Chile have had to convert to diesel in light of gas restrictions from Argentina.

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