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Natural gas and oil constitute the main energy sources in the national primary energy matrix. The following table illustrates their shares as of December 31, 2018, as there is no available information for the year 2019 as of the date of 2019 Annual Report’s release:

Type of Energy Million ton of oil equivalent %
Natural Gas 40.2 53.2%
Oil 23.4 31.0%
Hydro 3.5 4.6%
Nuclear 1.8 2.5%
Coal 1.2 1.6%
Renewables 0.3 0.3%
Others 5.1 6.7%
Total 75.5 100%

Note: All figures have been subject to rounding, so figures shown as totals may not sum. Source: The former Government Secretariat of Energy (‘SGE’).

 

Natural Gas

In 2019, the total gross natural gas production amounted to 135 million cubic meters (m3) per day, which represents a 5% increase compared to the volumes produced in 2018. This variation is mainly due to the continuous growth of production in the Neuquina Basin (+6 million m3 per day) and, to a lesser extent, in the Austral Basin (+1 million m3 per day), associated with the development of unconventional gas reserves, which was partially offset by the declines in the Golfo San Jorge and Noroeste basins.

However, the domestic supply was not able to meet the demand, a dominant trend since 2003, and, therefore, the Federal Government resorted to natural gas imports, the supply from Bolivia reaching an average of 14 million m3 per day in 2019, a figure 15% lower than the volume recorded in 2018. In this same sense, imports of seaborne liquefied natural gas (LNG) later injected in the national natural gas transportation system at the Escobar port, located in the Province of Buenos Aires, recorded an average contribution of 5 million m3 per day in 2019, 52% lower than the volume recorded in 2018. Moreover, no imports of LNG regasified in Chile were recorded in 2019, whereas in 2018 they totaled 0.6 million m3 per day. Lower imports are mainly due to the drop in the domestic demand resulting from the economic recession, and the higher domestic production of unconventional gas as a result of the Plan Gas incentive to certain blocks.

Based on the last annual information published by the SGE, as of December 31, 2018 total natural gas reserves and resources within the country reached 1,130,799 million m3, of which 33% were proven reserves. Furthermore, 57% of the total reserves and resources were unconventional. In a year-on-year comparison, total reserves and resources have recorded a 7% increase, especially resources, which have increased by 11%, totaling 399,584 million m3.

 

Oil

In 2019, total oil production amounted to 81 thousand m3 per day, a volume 4% higher than volumes produced in 2018 (78 thousand m3 per day), thus reversing, since 2018, the downward trend in oil production recorded in Argentina over the last sixteen years.

Based on the last annual information published by the SGE, in 2019 no oil imports were recorded, whereas in 2018 imports reached 1.2 thousand m3 per day. On the other hand, in 2019 oil exports amounted to 10.4 thousand m3 per day, a volume 6% higher than in 2018. This volume represented 13% of the total domestic production during 2019. The increase in domestic production and the positive oil trade balance are mainly due to the higher unconventional production, encouraged by an increase in international prices.

As of December 31, 2018, total oil reserves and resources within the country totaled 799,402 thousand m3, of which 48% were proven reserves. Furthermore, 27% of the total reserves and resources were unconventional. In a year-on-year comparison, total reserves and resources have recorded a 16% increase. Furthermore, resources totaled 169,501 thousand m3, similar to the levels recorded as of December 31, 2017.