Chile: Energy Sector Opportunities Industry Roundtable

Houston, TX, July 2, 2014

Chile Energy Roundtable

Left to Right: Dr. Marcelo Tokman (ENAP), Melinda E. Taylor (UT), Minister Maximo Pacheco, Jorge Piñon (UT), Mr. Jorge Pizarro, Dr. John Butler (UT), Mr. Pedro Pablo Cuevas (UT)

Over 140 attendees, representing the energy, environmental, and renewable sectors, attended an industry  breakfast round-table on Chile and its energy sector opportunities.

Chile is considered one of South America’s most stable and prosperous countries, with one of the highest regional rankings in competitiveness, globalization, and economic freedom indexes.  Strong economic growth and rising energy demand make Chile an attractive investment opportunity in the electric power sector, natural gas – LNG infrastructure projects, renewables, and the potential development of technically recoverable volumes of shale gas and shale oil resources in the Magallanes Basin.

The University of Texas at Austin, along with support from the Institute of the Americas and the Greater Houston Partnership, hosted H.E. Maximo Pacheco Matte, Minister of Energy of Chile.

Minister Pacheco emphasized the reality that Chile is “probably the poorest country in Latin America in terms of fossil fuels,” but that they ultimately focusing its attention on natural gas and renewables to meet the energy demand challenges they are facing now.  Specifically Chile is looking forward to a promising option of importing LNG from the U.S., which is currently the highest global producer of natural gas. In addition Chile is working with its surrounding countries; Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia on natural gas imports.  Minister Pacheco also noted that in addition to pursuing importing gas they will look into the possible oil and gas resources in the Magallanes Basin.

Mr. Jorge Pizarro Cristi, VP of Chile’s Foreign Trade Commission, presented a talk to the audience regarding Chile’s current economic status, business environment, and investment opportunities.  Minister Pacheco along with Mr. Pizarro were visiting the U.S. in order to emphasize the encouragement for investment in Chile from U.S. businesses.