Vaca Muerta labor protests continue
Argentine media reported April 14 that a union representing workers in the Vaca Muerta shale proposed a 24-hour labor stoppage.
Regional truckers joined healthcare workers this week in the Argentine shale patch in protests seeking salary increases. Service stations operated by energy company YPF were out of fuel because roads were obstructed by protesting truckers.
Argentine newspaper Rio Negro reported that an oil worker’s union in Neuquen province, home to the Vaca Muerta shale, called for a 24-hour labor stoppage in the basin after salary negotiations collapsed. NGW understands, however, that a government mechanism that calls for obligatory reconciliation would prevent a full-blown strike.
Inflationary pressures in the struggling Argentine economy make salary negotiations somewhat routine. The International Monetary Fund estimates the nation’s economy will expand by 5.8% in 2021, though inflation is running well above the rate of expansion.
Rio Negro added that parties to the labor negotiations included representatives from YPF, French major Total and German energy company Wintershall. It is not yet clear if there has been any meaningful impact on operations in Vaca Muerta.
Vaca Muerta is among the largest shale basins in the world and could help establish Argentina as a major LNG exporter. Research from the US Energy Information Administration estimates the basin holds 308 trillion ft3 of natural gas and 16bn barrels of oil and condensate.