Saturday, November 29, 2008

Argentina Natural Gas Prices to Rise

By Drew Benson

Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido said the government eliminated natural gas subsidies, which will mean higher well-head prices and rate increases for the biggest residential and industrial consumers.

The move, effective Nov. 1, will save the government 1.4 billion pesos ($420 million) a year, De Vido said during a press conference in Buenos Aires.

“These measures will produce a significant and direct reduction in subsidies for natural gas rates and as such increase production, which means more jobs,” De Vido said.

Consumers that use the most natural gas, 36 percent of residential users and 1.5 percent of industrial clients, will pay higher rates, De Vido said.

The announcement came a day after sporadic power outages for 43,000 consumers amid a heat wave led Argentines in some neighborhoods across Buenos Aires to bang on pots and pans in protest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Drew Benson in Buenos Aires at

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