For the past several winters, Argentina's government has rationed natural gas to manufacturers of cooking oil, auto-parts, and cement in the north of the country.
The measure is meant to keep gas flowing to households during particularly cold stretches of the winter.
Some cooking oil manufacturers have decided to fuel their operations by burning peanut shells instead.
Meanwhile, gas bills have been heavily subsidised for households in the densely populated capital region of Buenos Aires.
With presidential elections coming later this year, that is unlikely to change soon. The government is insisting that new demand from previously unconnected households is causing the energy crunch.
Al Jazeera's Craig Mauro reports from Cordoba.