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Latin America and the Caribbean in focus

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LNG Industry,


Myles Mantle, Andreas Silcher and Chrysa Kitsou, Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP, UK, provide a regional report on the LNG industry in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This article explores how the natural gas and LNG market in Latin America and the Caribbean has evolved, the status at present, and some thoughts about what the future might hold.

History and production and demand indicators

1) Resources

Latin America is endowed with an abundance of resources, yet these remain under-exploited. As of the end of 2017, the region held 4.3% of the world’s proven reserves of natural gas. This is unevenly distributed, with Venezuela having the most abundant reserves, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago having substantial reserves, and others having decent reserves (e.g. Colombia), with most of the others having small or no reserves. Further natural gas resources are expected to become available, especially in the following areas:

  • Bolivia, which has granted several exploration licences to extract its natural gas resources in the southern region.
  • Argentina, with the further development of the Vaca Muerta fields, and as a result of offshore exploration post bids rounds for acreage in Argentinian waters.
  • Brazil, where work is being carried out exploring and developing the offshore pre-salt fields (although mainly crude, there is a lot of associated gas).
  • Venezuela, where, if current turmoil ceases, stability prevails and exploration becomes an attractive proposition.
  • Guyana and Suriname basin, where the US Geological Survey estimates there is still 32 trillion ft3 of gas to be discovered (from various fields containing both oil and gas within the large Stabroek block and prospective fields offshore Suriname).

2) Historic production

Starting in the early 1970s, production of natural gas in the Caribbean and Latin America has risen steadily. Up to the year 2000, Argentina and Venezuela were by far the biggest producers, accounting for approximately 65% of the region’s production. Now, this share is roughly 40%. Over the years, Trinidad & Tobago, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia have increased production to significant levels of natural gas. Production will rise sharply in Argentina, with the development of the Vaca Muerta gas fields, and in Brazil, with the development its pre-salt fields located offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

This is an abridged version of an article that was originally published in the June 2019 issue of LNG Industry. The full version can be read here.

Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/special-reports/27052019/latinamerica-and-thecaribbean-in-focus/

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