Argentina cuts industry natgas supplies to technical minimum

21 June 2012 19:51  [Source: ICIS news]

BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--Argentina has reduced natural gas supplies to chemical producers and other industrial customers to the technical minimum, as the country contends with a trucker strike, a government official said on Thursday.

Since Wednesday, the strike has disrupted shipments of fuel oil, used by power companies to produce electricity.

Because of the disruptions, the government decided to redistribute natural gas to feed power stations and residents, said Julio de Vido, Argentine federal planning minister.

“We are redirecting the natural gas from the industry to the power stations, in order to replace the fuel oil supply that was distributed by truck, and keeping a technical minimum supply of 23.5m cubic metres a day for the industry," said de Vido.

“Therefore, a large part of the industrial sector is currently paralysed by the gas cuts”, the minister said in a press conference at the Argentine Economics Ministry.

Natgas is used in Argentina to feed several petrochemical based industries.

In order to resolve the national truck drivers strike, de Vido announced the government will present a complaint against the owners of the truck companies, alleging that they are violating Argentine law.

Because of the strike, most of Argentine fuel stations are without stock, according to a report presented by de Vido.

“We are living something without precedent in Argentine history due to its magnitude, which has a clear political and corporate connotations," added de Vido.

By Paula Krizanovic

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