Argentina looks for 25 LNG cargoes for 2014 - source


BUENOS AIRES, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Argentina called for atender to buy 25 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fordelivery in 2014, a Buenos Aires-based industry source withknowledge of the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Argentina's state-run energy firm YPFpicked BP to supply the bulk of its LNG needs in 2014 and2015, following the South America nation's annual tender tosecure approximately 5.57 million tonnes of the fuel.

The state-run firm also chose Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa(GNF) to deliver around 2.7 million tonnes of LNG.

Ten of the new cargoes to be tendered are for delivery intothe Bahia Blanca import terminal, and the other 15 will beshipped to the country's other terminal at Escobar on the ParanaRiver, said the source, who requested anonymity.

YPF, which brokers the fuel purchases on behalfof fellow state-run energy company Enarsa, declined to comment.

Fuel imports have been growing in Argentina due to apersistent fall in local production and an increase in demand,especially for gas.

Argentina's fuel imports rose 13.8 percent in September fromthe same month last year. Led by LNG purchases, fuel importstotaled $651 million for the month, according to data fromArgentina's energy secretary.

Analysts forecast that fuel imports will reach some $14billion this year. That's a worrisome figure for Argentina'sgovernment, which aims to keep the trade balance in surplus, asthe country has been locked out of international capital marketssince a 2002 sovereign default.

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