Argentina could import 66 liquefied natural gas cargoes in 2011 triple the amount it purchased last year, according to data from state energy company Enarsa.
Argentina has two LNG import terminals and plans to build two more -- one in partnership with neighbouring Uruguay -- to boost its import capacity as natural gas demand increases and domestic production falls.
Delivery of 45 LNG cargoes has been confirmed so far this year. By mid-August, 39 cargoes of between 37,959 and 130,778 cubic meters each had been unloaded, according to the Enarsa document.
The company has tentatively scheduled 21 more cargoes, but a source at Enarsa said they are subject to review.
We still don't know if they will be imported, that will depend on demand, the source said. We must make sure they're available in case we need them, but we have yet to confirm them.
Argentina’s LNG import terminals are located in the southern Bahia Blanca area and in Escobar, both in Buenos Aires province.
Escobar LNG, 48 km north of the capital, was completed earlier this year and was expected to double the country's import capacity.
Argentina imported 22 cargoes of LNG in 2010 and 12 in 2009, according to Waterborne Energy.
Latin America's third-biggest economy is increasingly dependent on imported energy due to dwindling oil and natural gas reserves, which fell 9% and 39%, respectively, between 2001 and 2008.
Demand has soared since 2003 as the country rebounded strongly from a deep economic crisis, and is currently going through a consumer boom.