BY CONTINUING TO USE THIS SITE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO OUR USE OF COOKIES. REVIEW OUR
COOKIE NOTICE

Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to: Latest news headlines Analytical topics and features Commodities videos, podcast & blogs Sample market prices & data Special reports Subscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

IF you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the�Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
Oil

Argentina to launch delayed offshore auction in October

Crude Oil | Governments

Midterm elections could have consequences for US oil policy

Oil

Platts Rigs and Drilling Analytical Report (RADAR)

Natural Gas | LNG | Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products | Petrochemicals

Platts Workshop at the S&P Global Platts Energy

Oil

Saudi rift could bolster US oil, but energy dominance claims overstated: analysts

Argentina to launch delayed offshore auction in October

Buenos Aires — Argentina plans to launch a delayed offshore licensing round in October as it seeks to explore a large frontier region in the South Atlantic for potential oil and natural gas production growth in the future, a source in the Energy Secretariat said Wednesday.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

"It will be launched in October," the source said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy. The source said the country's energy secretary, Javier Iguacel, told oil executives of the date this week at a lunch in Houston.

Iguacel traveled to Houston Monday and Tuesday to drum up investment, with a focus on Vaca Muerta, one of the world's biggest shale plays. The development of the play by majors like Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, as well as local companies, is leading a recovery in oil and gas production from recent lows, bolstering expectations of self sufficiency and a surge in exports.

To sustain production growth over the longer term, however, the government wants to explore offshore.

S&P Global Platts Energy Symposium: Houston Energy Forum | October 10, 2018 | Houston, TX

Join our leading commodity specialists & analysts to get vital updates and understand the significance of the global & North American energy market.

Register

The first of what is expected to be a series of rounds is to be for as many as 38 blocks in three basins on the continental shelf and slope, in water depths ranging from less than 100 meters to 4,000 meters.

FIRST ROUND IN YEARS

This will be the first big exploration effort in Argentina since 1991, with only sporadic attempts since.

In a June interview, Rodrigo Garcia Berro, an adviser to the Energy Secretariat who is spearheading the auction, said he thinks explorers will bid because there is so little known about the offshore acreage.

Argentina's economic problems -- and a lack of rounds -- kept explorers out of the waters during a boom in offshore drilling around the world since 2000.

Argentina's only offshore region in production is off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, the source of about 20% of the country's gas.

The rest is largely virgin, and at least two dozen companies have stepped forward to express interest, including US-based Anadarko Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Hunt Oil, as well as Italy's ENI and Ireland's Tullow Oil, Scotland's Cairn Energy and Australia's Woodside Energy. Norway's Equinor and the big international players already in Vaca Muerta also have taken part in talks to prepare for the round.

DELAYED, BUT NOT HALTED

The round is coming three months later than previously expected and this has raised concerns about why.

The government hasn't mentioned any specific reasons, but most analysts say it's probably because of a change in leadership. Iguacel was appointed in June after his predecessor, Juan Jose Aranguren, was fired, meaning there may have been delays.

But the economy has tanked on a weakening exchange rate since then, surging inflation and some of the world's highest interest rates, sparking concerns that the round might get shelved as investor interest wanes.

Juan Cruz Diaz, managing director of Cefeidas Group, an international advisory firm in Buenos Aires, said the crisis "has spooked" companies in many sectors about making decisions on new investments.

But that doesn't seem to be the case for the offshore round, he added.

"The consultations have not stopped, nor the interest," Diaz said, "but the companies want to know what is happening and if the government is going to change its policies or not. My sense is that there are not going to be any policy changes."

-- Charles Newbery, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson, newsdesk@spglobal.com