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Argentina's Energy Industry


in figures

Oil reserves2.5 billion barrels

Oil production627,000 bopd

Gas reserves400 bcm

Gas production38.6 bcm

Argentina: Vast Unconventional Potential

Argentina’s energy industry remains a key sector for the country’s economic stability. The nation has the fourth-largest shale reserves in South America, which include the world’s second-largest shale gas formation, Vaca Muerta, located in Neuquén and Mendoza provinces. Natural gas production comprises up around 60% of the country’s supply of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons industry is overseen by the Ministry of Productive Development of Argentina, which updates policies and mandates on industrial matters.

The market is driven by majority-state-owned integrated energy company YPF, which has been involved in E&P operations since 1922. The NOC is the country’s largest oil and gas producer and owns more than half of Argentina’s refineries. International companies such as Chevron, Dow Argentina, Enap Eipetrol and Statoil have joined in the country’s upstream operations.

Argentina has traditionally had a surplus production of oil and gas, with exports bound mainly to its neighbour Chile although it remains a new importer of hydrocarbons. The nation is actively seeking investment to unlock its gas potential as demand rises while facing challenges related to high production costs and conflicts with labour unions. The country issued several revamps of policy to incentivise FDI under its Plan Gas initiative, with the aim of upping gas production as it transitions to lowering carbon dioxide emissions and adding renewables to its energy mix. Its total energy mix is dominated by oil and gas with bioenergy, nuclear and hydropower contributing less than 20% of its total primary energy use according to the IEA.

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