Latin America’s uncertain LNG future


Old-guard importers are fading, but new markets are opening. The region’s exporters are adapting to the US threat

Latin America doesn’t suck in huge quantities of liquefied natural gas like northeast Asia, or feed the world’s thirst on the same scale as Australia or Qatar; but it has played an increasingly important role in the global gas trade in recent years.

The Southern Cone countries—Brazil, Argentina and Chile—have been the region’s stalwart importers. The region put itself on the LNG trade map earlier this decade. Severe droughts in Brazil forced the country to burn far more gas than usual, much of which it brought in from LNG markets. At the same time, Argentina’s demand was surging and its production sliding, which saw it turn to LNG markets to plug the gap. In 2014, the Southern Cone countries alone brought in 12.32m tonnes.

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