The energy trade balance was in deficit during all the Kirchnerism. But the Government’s incentive policy seems to be paying off. In February, it was surplus for US $ 92 million and in the two months (January-February) accumulates a surplus of US $ 105 million.
Oil production decreased, but gas production increased. In both cases, unconventional developments have important growths, which compensate for the decrease in conventional developments.
Gas production in February increased by 7.9% in relation to the same month of 2018 and carried a 5.6% accumulated in twelve months, according to data from the Mosconi Institute. Fortín de Piedra, the Tecpetrol project (Techint) dedicated to gas, explains a good part of the growth. Without Fortín de Piedra, 12-month gas production would have fallen by 1.2%.
Fortín de Piedra receives a benefit from a subsidy for investment in unconventional assets, although the Executive Power and Tecpetrol are the protagonists of a dispute over the scope of this subsidy. If Tecpetrol stops its activity, it is likely that it sits in the activity.
The production of conventional oil (86% of total production) fell by 1.8% in the last twelve months. The “unconventional” production, led by the “shale oil”, increased 52.4%.
Conventional gas production (63% of total total production) fell 8.4% in the last 12 months while non-conventional production, still led by “tight Gas”, increased 42.8%. This represents more than a third (37%) of the total.
In February 2019, the total demand for electric power was reduced by 6.2% compared to the same month of the previous year. “The annual demand increases only for the residential category, while it decreases for the commercial and industrial category, correlating with the indicators of economic and industrial activity for the period”, highlights the Mosconi Institute, in its monthly report.
Gasoline and diesel sales in January 2019 fell by 6.6% year-on-year. while in the annual accumulated calculation they decreased 1.8%.
Nuclear and renewable electric generation show rises of 1.5% and 46.2% in 12 months respectively. Wind generation is established as the main renewable technology, representing 47% of the total of this energy throughout the year.