A federal judge in Argentina has lifted a more than three-month suspension of the country’s only floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) after the government warned of natural gas shortages if LNG imports were hindered.
The FSRU, which is docked in Escobar, near Buenos Aires, was closed last October following explosion concerns.
In a new 11-page ruling, Judge Adrian Gonzalez Charvay has said studies presented by the national energy secretariat, the state-backed energy company YPF, which operates the FSRU, and other companies and entities involved, found that there was no risk of an explosion.
Argentinian energy secretary Dario Martinez has welcomed the decision, after warning of the risk of gas shortages without the facility in operation: “Now we have the peace of mind that we can count on Escobar’s strategic plant to plan with certainty the comprehensive programme to supply gas to meet demand in the coming months.”
Argentina relies on imported gas to meet excess demand year-round, but it only brings in LNG supplies in the cold months of May to September when an increase in heating demand outstrips local supplies.
The news of the resumption of the FSRU comes as the government seeks to rebuild gas production, which has fallen 21 percent to just 113.8 million cu m/d in December from a most recent peak of 144.4 million cu m/d in July 2019.
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