Argentina is to import up to 75 liquefied natural gas cargoes next year as gas demand in the country fast outstrips domestic supply.

State energy company Enarsa plans to import 45 cargoes of 138,000 cu m to a floating regasification terminal in Bahia Blanca and up to 30 cargoes of the same volume to a terminal at Escobar.

Meanwhile, the boss of a company running a $15bn LNG project in Australia today predicted that demand for the gas in China and India would increase six fold in the next 15 years.

Peter Coleman, chief executive of Woodside Petroleum, told news agency Bloomberg that he also expected Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand to become “significant importers”.