Since the 1950s, Enap exploits the only hydrocarbon deposits in the country and provides oil and port logistic services to relevant customers operating in the energy sector of the southern region.
Empresa Nacional del Petróleo was created five years after discovering the first oil deposit in the country, in the Springhill area, Tierra del Fuego Island, on December 29, 1945. Following this finding, the team of explorers, led by engineer Eduardo Simián Gallet, conducted new surveys and detailed economic feasibility studies, and recommended CORFO to create ENAP to commercially exploit the deposits discovered in Magallanes.
In late 1950s, ENAP built the township Cerro Sombrero that since then has provided housing to the workers and employees who work in different oil operations in Tierra Del Fuego Island. In 2008, Cerro Sombrero was appointed by the Bicentennial Commission, one of the 18 most relevant architectural works of the 20th Century in the country.
The rapid industrial growth of Magallanes had its first major impact in the rest of the country in 1954, with the start-up of ENAP's Concón Refinery, today Aconcagua Refinery. It continued in 1962 with the start-up of Gasoline Plant of Cullen and simultaneously, a third Refinery of ENAP was projected in the Bío Bío Region and began its operations in 1966.
The first logistic facilities for fuels transportation, storage and distribution were also built during the 1950’s, as well as Gregorio maritime terminal, facing the Strait of Magellan. Gregorio Refinery was built in 1980; it supplies fuels for the Magallanes Region and exports part of its production to the southern provinces of Argentina.
Other ENAP’s productive plants at Magallanes are Posesión and Cabo Negro, the latter producing 853,000 cubic meters of propane, butane and natural gas.
The peak of oil production in Magallanes was achieved in the 1980’s, when ENAP put into production off-shore deposits, with the installation of several oil platforms in the Strait of Magellan.
Nowadays ENAP’s efforts in Magallanes are concentrated in the search of new hydrocarbon deposits, either with its own resources or in alliance with other companies, through Oil Operation Special Agreements.