Argentina and a consortium of three international oil companies signed an agreement by which the Fenix gas field at the San Sebastián Bay will be developed in two years time with an investment of US$ 700 million. The agreement includes a decree which reinstates benefits for the hydrocarbons industry, particularly new undertakings as contemplated in Law 19,640.
The field is offshore some sixty kilometers from Tierra del Fuego and the three companies are France's Total, German Wintershall DEA and Pan American Sur. The potential of the field is estimated in 10 million cubic meters per day once fully operational.
This is strategic for Tierra del Fuego province and for Argentina's self sufficiency goal, according to Tierra del Fuego governor Gustavo Melella. He added that offshore Tierra del Fuego currently represents 19% of the country's gas production.
Melella said that once the Fenix field is fully developed, north of Rio Grande companies are planning a petrochemical pole which will include urea, methanol, green and blue hydrogen. The Fenix field project was announced back in 2017 when the opening of another offshore deposit Vega Pleyade, and companies started with all the necessary surveying with the idea that it should be in production by 2020 together with a pipeline to the shore.
But political and economic instability towards the end of 2018 forced the consortium to freeze the project. Anyhow the implementation of Law 19,640 will enable companies involved in new undertakings, and following investments of certain magnitude, will be allowed to freely operate in the foreign currency market, according to governor Melella.