Amid soaring prices for the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a tight global energy market, Argentina’s efforts to increase natural gas output appear to be paying off.

Vaca Muerta

Buenos Aires-based generator and exploration and production (E&P) company Pampa Energía SA announced it would up its gas production by 60% this year. The plan is to hit 11.4 million cubic meters/day (Mm3/d) by this winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the company said.

Production increases would come mainly from new capacity in Neuquén, home to most of the Vaca Muerta shale deposit. The company is developing 20 wells at the El Mangrullo field in Neuquén, and is also constructing a gas treatment plant.

Argentina officials have been vocal about the rising cost of LNG, which is used to meet seasonal