Air Quality — 02 July 2014

2 July 2014.  Santiago, Chile.

President Bachelet traveled to the USA to meet with President Obama on Monday.  Executives of the energy industry in Chile traveled with her.  Among the themes the executives discussed was how Chile can obtain shale natural gas from the USA, a country that has an enormous surplus of natural gas now due to the recent discovery of the hydraulic fracking process, which unleashed vast reserves that were formerly not possible to obtain.

Some of the energy executives were to take a tour of the Sabina Pass liquid natural gas facility that is coming online now in Louisiana.  This will be the first export facility for natural gas in the USA while several others are under construction.  Only 5 years ago the USA was looking to import natural gas.  Now they want to export it.  Energy experts say that exports from these facilities will being in 2015 to 2018.

The Bachelet government has said it is looking for ways to diversify its sources of energy for producing electricity.  The government has said that natural gas must be a part of this new energy strategy in addition to renewable sources of energy.

El Mercurio newspaper quoted Bernardo Larraín Matte, president of the energy company Colbún,  as he exited a conference at The Heritage Foundation, about the possibility of the USA exporting natural gas from the new export facilities to Chile saying, “We learned about the status of those projects that are very relevant for Chile as there is a challenge to increase the use of natural gas in the energy mix.”

The executives attended discussions organized by the Chile-America Chamber of conference and a conference at the University of Texas in Austin. Texas, of course, is a leading producer of natural gas and oil.

Máximo Pacheco, the Minister of the Environment for Chile, signed a bilateral agree with Ernesto Moniz, the US Energy Secretary, outlining cooperation in the areas of natural gas and petroleum and renewable energies.

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