Through Resolution No. 706/2021 (the “Resolution”), published on July 27 2021 and in effect as from that day, the Secretary of Energy (the “Secretary”) created the “Liquefied Natural Gas Operators Registry” (the “Registry”) within the scope of the Undersecretariat of Hydrocarbons, dependent on the Secretary and the Ministry of Economy. The Resolution also regulated the requirements for granting LNG export permits for up to 20 years.
The purpose of the Resolution is to identify the operators that process, storage, transport and/or market Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”) through its registry and also, to regulate the LNG production chain in Argentina.
The most relevant aspects of the Resolution are:
- Subjects involved: the operators that are LNG processors, stokers, transporters and/or marketers, shall be registered in the Registry, in accordance to the categorization and requirements stipulated in the Resolution (Annexes I and II of the Resolution).
- Registry’s Application: to be recorded in the Registry, operators shall submit the application to the National Management of Economy and Regulation (“Application Authority”), which shall verify the application’s requirements jointly with the National Management of Refining and Commercialization (“Control Authority”).
- Observations to the Applications: the operators shall correct the observations made to the application and shall file the corrected application before the Application Authority within ten (10) days of its notification.
- Registry’s Applicants record: if the applicant complies with all the requirements, the Application Authority shall register the applicant in the corresponding Registry´s category, and update the Secretary’s website to add the operator’s data to the list of authorized operators.
- Independence of the Registry’s authorization: even if the operators are registered by the Application Authority they must also comply with all the others mandatory authorizations in accordance with fiscal, environmental, safety and technical regulations.
- Periodic Controls: the Control Authority jointly with the municipal and/or local province authorities, could carry out periodic inspections and controls at the facilities of the registered operators.
- Valid Safety Audit Certificate: the registered operators must have a valid Safety Audit Certificate (Resolution No. 414 of the Secretary), and also, comply with the safety requirements set forth in the Resolution (Annex III of the Resolution).
- LNG export permit: the operators interested in obtaining the LNG export permit must follow the procedure established in the Resolution (Art. 12 of the Resolution).
- Issuance of LNG export permits: prior the corresponding evaluations, the Application Authority shall issue the permits for up to twenty (20) years. The Application Authority shall pay special attention to those applications that may generate non-compliance with the commitments of natural gas injection made to the Argentine National State.
- Penalties: the Control Authority shall notify the Authority of Application of the breach(s) of the measures established in the Resolution, and apply to the operators the penalties stipulated in the Resolution (Annex IV Resolution).