Argentina will begin exporting natural gas to Chile from October, the Argentine Energy Ministry said on Friday, following a meeting between the governments of both countries.
The gas will come primarily from the Vaca Muerta shale field in the Neuquen basin, and will be sent over the Andes mountain range to Chile’s southern province of Biobio, the Argentine government said in a statement.
“Unconventional natural gas production in the Austral Basin was also discussed and possible export of that gas to the Chilean region of Magallanes,” it said.
It followed a meeting in the Chilean capital Santiago on Friday between Argentine energy minister Javier Iguacel and his Chilean counterpart Susana Jiménez.
The Chilean energy ministry said the two ministers had also discussed a study into the opening of four new electricity lines between the two countries. In 2016 and 2017 Chile exported excess electricity to Argentina through the single power line that currently connects the two countries.
Jiménez said in an interview in June that gas imported from Argentina could be used for electricity generation, replacing imports from elsewhere, or to heat homes in areas where families still depend on wood, a source of pollution in the center-south region.
Chile produces little hydrocarbons of its own while Argentina has the world’s No. 2 shale gas reserves but is still a net energy importer.