As Argentina stands on the verge of regime change, the question for oil companies is whether politics or the geology of Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s biggest shale plays, will prevail. Oil companies are used to dealing with geopolitical risk, often operating in volatile regions when the resource potential is high enough. Argentina holds some of the world’s largest shale oil and natural gas resources and has a 100-year-old industry with plenty of infrastructure and talented engineers and fieldworkers. When conservative businessman Mauricio Macri won the presidency in 2015 after 12 years of populist rule, optimism swelled. Macri scrapped many of the capital, currency, pricing and trade controls of his predecessors, and investment surged in Vaca Muerta, a huge shale play in the southwest. Oil and gas production recovered from more than a decade of decline. Go deeper: Searching for Argentina’s next oil and gas giant Macri said national production could double between 2023 and 2018 to 1 million b/d of oil and 260 million cu m/d in of gas, allowing exports to surge from virtually zero to 500,000 b/d and 80 million cu m/d over the same period, then continue to increase. That now seems less likely. Macri… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center