Argentina eases currency restriction in bid to boost oil and gas sector
Argentina has announced an easing of foreign exchange controls for the oil and gas sector in a bid to promote increasing domestic oil and gas production.
On May 24, Economy Minister Martin Guzman said "a special regime for currency access" would be put in place for the hydrocarbon industry "to guarantee the special equipment they require," especially for fracking.
The measure is designed to stimulate exploration and production in the Vaca Muerta shale basin to the point that Argentina can export its oil and gas reserves in order to bring more dollars into an economy buckling under a hefty debt burden from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Spanning an estimated 7.5mn acres in total, the Vaca Muerta shale basin is among the largest in the world, but requires significant investment. Argentina envisions export potential from an LNG terminal that will put Vaca Muerta reserves on the international market.
Last month, the government launched a construction tender phase for a gas pipeline from Vaca Muerta to the north of the country. The project, if ultimately sanctioned, could take about 18 months to complete and require investments of around $1.6bn. In turn, it would add about 24mn m3/d in transport capacity from Vaca Muerta.