Comodoro Rivadavia is a city in the Patagonian province of Chubut in southern Argentina, located on the San Jorge Gulf, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, at the foot of the Chenque Hill. Comodoro Rivadavia is the most important city of the San Jorge Basin.
The city is often referred simply as Comodoro. It was at one time the capital of Comodoro Rivadavia Territory, which existed from 1943 to 1955. The territory was a part of Chubut before and after its creation, and the city became the capital of Escalante Department. It had a population of 137,061 as of the 2001, and grew to 182,631 by the 2010 census.
Comodoro Rivadavia is a commercial and transportation center for the surrounding region, the largest city of Chubut, and an important export point for a leading Argentine petroleum district. A 1,770 km pipeline conveys natural gas from Comodoro Rivadavia to Buenos Aires. The city is modern with the air of an oil-country boomtown.
Founded by decree on February 23, 1901, as a port for the inland settlement of Sarmiento, the first settler was Francisco Pietrobelli. Early settlers included Boers escaping British rule in South Africa, as well as Welsh settlers.
The town was named in honour of shipping minister Martín Rivadavia, a proponent of the development of southern Argentina. It has been prosperous since 1907, when a drilling crew searching for water struck oil at a depth of 539 m.
Oil production has begun to reduce in quantity but the area has been turning its attention to wind power. Windmills on Cerro Chenque and surrounding hills comprise South America's largest wind farm and provide 20% of Comodoro's energy needs.
The city is the home of the main faculty of the National University of Patagonia at San Juan Bosco. The Cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Comodoro Rivadavia, of which the Bishop is, since 2005, Virginio Domingo Bressanelli. The Cathedral is dedicated to San Juan Bosco, the only cathedral in the world dedicated to the founder of the Salesian Order. It was inaugurated in 1979 although the crypt had been dedicated in 1949.
Rada Tilly is a beach resort and now suburb 12 km south of Comodoro. The National Museum of Petroleum is located in the General Mosconi neighbourhood 3 km north of central Comodoro Rivadavia. It was opened in 1987 by the state-owned oil company YPF, which was later privatized (see Repsol YPF).
Comodoro Rivadavia is served by General Enrique Mosconi International Airport (Airport Code CRD/SAVC) with daily flights to Buenos Aires and many other Patagonian cities, as it is the main hub of LADE.