Chile's Minister of Energy Marcelo Tokman announced Wednesday that because of low production problems Argentina will not be pumping natural gas for several days, although he said that home and commercial provision was guaranteed.
Tokman revealed that the current consumption of Chilean residents and commerce is in the range of 1.1 million cubic meters per day, but demand is expected to increase to 1.3 million or peak even higher as winter approaches. He added that line-pack or reserves stand at 11 million cubic meters. Earlier in the week Tokman said that the drop in supply of Argentine gas over the week end had been "very specific", even when it dropped to less that half a million cubic meters. "These are specific reductions. Argentina is anticipating very cold temperatures and also is facing several labor conflicts in the fuels industry", added the Chilean minister. The chairman of Chile's Association of Natural gas distributors Carlos Cortes said on Wednesday that the supply of Argentine natural gas was zero. "From half a million cubic meters last week they've shut completely supply". How long will the situation last? Cortes said it was hard to reply, "I think we're back to the situation of mid year last winter". Chile is highly dependent on Argentine natural gas for electricity generation and heating houses, but since the Kirchners took office Argentina has consistently ignored international contracts and privileged domestic demand, thus cutting the supply to its neighb