Argentine President Alberto Fernández Thursday launched the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline project during a ceremony at the Loma Campana field in Vaca Muerta, province of Neuquén.
We're sitting on large amounts of gas here today, which are of no use to us if we can't transport it to where it is needed, Fernández explained while launching the construction of the President Néstor Kirchner pipeline to increase gas transportation capacity to meet domestic demand.
The project will cost around US$ 3.4 billion and will be financed mostly by the National Treasury, it was explained.
Today we are giving value to something very important for the development of Argentina, because there is no possibility for the country to develop without an industry, nor for the industry to grow without energy, nor for that energy to come from any other place than Argentine soil, Fernández said.
Also present at the ceremony were Governors Omar Gutiérrez of Neuquén and Axel Kicillof of Buenos Aires, and Sergio Ziliotto of La Pampa, together with Cabinet Chief Juan Manzur, federal Energy Secretary Darío Martínez, and YPF Chairman Pablo González, anmong other authorities.
Regarding YPF's role, the President said that this company should be the pride of all Argentines and it is essential that it continues to grow, researching, producing, searching for oil and gas, and that they can distribute them throughout Argentina so that the country grows federally.
In a recorded message from Washington, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán said the new pipeline was the most important infrastructure project in Argentina.
There is nothing more transformational for the productive structure and the macroeconomy than accelerating the development of the energy sector, since it will allow us to make the whole productive system more competitive, particularly our industry, and to be able to deal more effectively with external restrictions, he explained.
González highlighted that this year YPF achieved a great recovery and detailed that it has forecast an 8% increase in equivalent barrels, which represents the largest organic growth in the last 20 years.
We have replaced 229 percent of the level of reserves, we have reduced our debt by almost 1.6 billion dollars and we are thinking of continuing to rebuild, and that is why we have a budget that has increased to 3.7 billion dollars, with a year-on-year growth of 42 percent, the YPF executive said.