SOUTH AMERICAN ENERGY DAILY ROUNDUP (March 27, 2009): Argentine court rules against government intervention of gas transporter TGN
South America Energy Markets (SAEM) will begin a daily roundup of the top-five stories affecting energy markets in the region with links. The roundup includes all the major web dailies of South America and other websites that write about the region’s energy markets. I aim to publish SAEM Daily Roundup from Monday through Friday by noon London time.
March 27, 2009
ARGENTINA – GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
A court in Buenos Aires has suspended the government’s intervention of troubled TGN, one of Argentina’s two gas transporters, reports Buenos Aires daily La Nacion. The company was intervened at the end of last year by the government on the grounds that its financial situation, which had been exacerbated by the worsening economic situation, put in danger the operation of the trunkline system. The ruling, in which gas regulator Enargas has ten days to appeal, is a minor victory against the government’s interventionist policy in markets since passage of the Economic Emergency Law in January 2002. The worsening economic situation is seen strengthening the government’s interventionist grip this year of energy markets.
VENEZUELA – PdVSA INVESTMENT PLAN
State-owned energy company PdVSA announced that it plans to invest this year $12 billion that will help it finance a number of large-scale upstream and downstream projects such as the Orinoco Oil Belt and construction of a liquefaction plant in Guira state, respectively, according to state-owned news agency ABN. PdVSA vice president, Eulogio Del Pino, said that the investments will allow the country to tap “enormous opportunities” in the energy sector. The plunge in global oil prices has forced the energy company to scale back spending by almost 40%.
COLOMBIA – ECOPETROL
BOLIVIA – ENERGY CRISIS
After Hydrocrabons superintendent, Guillermo Aruquipa, announced that YPFB will supply the domestic market with enough gas, gasoline and LPG (see South American Energy Daily Roundup, March 26, 2009), Electricity Superintendent Jerges Mercado said in La Prensa that there will be enough power to satisfy demand. Mercado said that Bolivia’s power consumption grew at 7-8% annual rates but in 2008 it was much lower. With so many assurances by government officials that there will not be energy shortages this year suggests that the opposite will most likely take place.
PERU – WIND POWER
Peru could become a regional wind-power giant if it developed this energy sector, Spanish consultancy Sisner Ingenieros was quoted as saying in state-owned news agency El Peruano. The Spanish consultancy said that the first phase of development in Peru could involve building 1,000MW of generating capacity. The Peruvian renewable energy association, APER, has asked the government to speed up a new tariff scheme for the wind power sector (see South American Energy Daily Roundup, March 26, 2009). The association said that a tariff scheme, which should come into force before the auction for 500MW, is vital for investments to begin in the sector.
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