The Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons and Fuels, Maggie Videla, and the presidential advisor Ariel Kogan met with the natural gas marketers, who detailed the high degree of renewal of supply contracts with industrial clients, which ensures the availability of supply.
Official sources explained that in a virtual meeting, the Secretary of Energy, together with 48 representatives of gas marketers that operate with industrial clients and large users from all over the country, reviewed the current situation in the sectorwithin days of the annual expiration of contracts on May 1.
in the meeting, Kogan stated that “this year there will undoubtedly be a greater volume of gas for the industry” by highlighting in the first instance that “the production companies will start in May with maximum production and injection committed to Plan Gas.Ar”, which last year only happened in July.
In this way, as foreseen in the current plan, 30% of that production must be available for the industry, that is, if there is more Plan Gas.Ar volume and there is more gas directly for the contracted productive sector.
Kogan also explained that “the country’s total gas production continues to grow month after month,” and that the latest round of the Gas.Ar Plan added 3 million m3 per day, starting this winter, a volume that last year did not existed, and that ends up saturating the gas pipelines from Neuquén.
For their part, the trading businessmen who spoke during the meeting emphasized that, until last March, they renewed the contracts of all their regular customers for the 22/23 campaign.
In the international context that had already been noted, even prior to the war in Ukraine, the contracting process began to take place in December of last year, with minimal exceptions characterized by the decision of these clients to wait until the last moment.
Videla explained that the Secretary of Energy was holding direct meetings with industrialists, provincial authorities, business organizations and, in this case, marketers, as a tool to analyze the situation of the sector with its direct actors, and then make the necessary decisions.
For its part, it was highlighted during the talk that the production companies have been amply fulfilling their commitments with Plan Gas.Ar, and their sworn declarations of projection of their production for this year, exceed what was verified in 2021.
In this regard, Kogan explained that “producers also reported that they have been closing contracts for this season since the end of last year with the vast majority of their customers, with prices for a million BTUs ranging from US$3.51 to $4.90, with a maximum of $5.50, with few exceptions.”
Finally, the same sources indicated that the marketers endorsed these prices in their interventions, such as those adopted in their purchase and sale operations for approximately 97% of their already contracted clients.
Particularizing the analysis on the small segment of clients not yet contracted, they also expressed that they basically correspond to the north of the country, and that outside of them, only in those marginal cases, due to small volumes, in this final part of the contracting process in the last days, an urgency to close contracts was generated, and then much higher prices appeared.