Argentina shale industry safe from upcoming elections, oil executives say

Jonathan Gilbert, Bloomberg August 14, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Argentina’s burgeoning shale oil and gas industry will be shielded from any violent swings in politics and policymaking after upcoming elections, according to executives at the nation’s biggest energy companies.

Whatever broader policy mix is implemented, the next government will continue to back production in shale patch Vaca Muerta. That was the unanimous opinion of top drillers state-run YPF SA and Pampa Energia SA, and TGS SA, which conditions and transports shale gas, on earnings calls this week.

Argentines vote in presidential elections in October, as well as a key primary vote on Sunday. The new administration could make sweeping economic changes as it tries to get the struggling, resource-rich country back on track.

“In terms of policy after the elections, we would expect it to remain supportive for our sector,” YPF’s head of finance Alejandro Lew said Friday.

Vaca Muerta is vital to improving Argentina’s economy because it will cut a reliance on natural gas imports and boost crude oil exports. The formation in Patagonia has gained real momentum this year as pipeline bottlenecks clear, and it now produces about the equivalent of 640,000 bpd.

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