Former president Mauricio Macri criticized Sunday’s launch of the Nestor Kirchner gas pipeline, calling it an “another example of missed opportunities” and accusing the government of failing in the energy sector “like previous kirchnerist administrations.” His remarks led to a Twitter spat with former president and current Vice President Cristina Kirchner (CFK), who called him a “big liar.”
“With great fanfare, the government announced the opening of the pipeline that comes three years too late (…) In 2019, we left the bidding sheet and financing in place. All they had to do was move forward. Instead of that, we’ve had to hear bombastic speeches about sovereignty, self-supply and independence,” tweeted Macri, who accused CFK’s administration of leaving office in 2015 with a “huge energy deficit.”
Macri, who made a point of congratulating engineers and construction companies for what he said is a “fantastic work of infrastructure,” also claimed that the 3-year delay in getting the pipeline up and running has cost Argentina “more than US$5 billion.”
“The story of this gas pipeline is (excuse me if I don’t call it by its official name) the story of missed opportunities, as well as the time and money lost to kirchnerism’s stubbornness in destroying anything we had done. At least now we have something concrete. Let’s take advantage of that.”
CFK, who spoke at the launch alongside President Alberto Fernández as well as Economy minister and presidential candidate Sergio Massa, hit back on social media at Macri’s claims. Taking issue with the former president’s accusations regarding the energy deficit, Kirchner listed what she said were his administration’s accomplishments in the energy sector, adding that “everyone knows [Macri] and his party never did anything for YPF or [shale oil and gas deposit] Vaca Muerta.”
“You are a big liar,” she tweeted.
Kirchner also took aim at Macri’s failed reelection bid, reminding him he was “the only president seeking reelection who lost,” comparing his run to hers, saying she was not only the first woman to be elected president, but that she also won reelection by a large margin.
Vaca Muerta is the fourth-largest shale oil reservoir in the world and the second-largest shale gas reservoir. According to a report published Sunday by the CEPA research center, Vaca Muerta holds 16 trillion barrels of oil, representing 94 years of domestic consumption in Argentina, and 308 trillion cubic feet of gas — or 193 years of domestic consumption.
According to official figures, Argentina is set to save US$1.7 billion in gas imports with the pipeline for the rest of 2023. Savings will grow to US$4.2 billion for 2024, by replacing liquefied natural gas, gas from Bolivia, and liquid fuel imports, while increasing the availability of gas at competitive prices for industry, businesses, and homes.
-with information from Télam