Argentina sends energy bill to Congress to boost Vaca Muerta

Argentina sends energy bill to Congress to boost Vaca Muerta

15:41 - Argentina's government sent a bill to Congress on Wednesday to promote hydrocarbon investment, in a bid to increase domestic production in the huge Vaca Muerta shale formation and beyond, as well as to boost oil and gas exports.

The project propose an incentive scheme based on increased approvals for oil and gas exports, and boosting access to foreign exchange markets - now hindered by capital controls.

"The ambition is for Argentina to produce in excess and export the surplus to bring in dollars," center-left President Alberto Fernández said during a presentation ceremony. "We have enormous potential and we cannot waste it."

The initiative aims to boost hydrocarbon production in the key Vaca Muerta shale formation, an area the size of Belgium and estimated to be the world's fourth largest reserve of shale oil and the second for unconventional gas.

"We have to give the maximum boost to oil and gas activity," Fernandez added.

"For that we have decided to give certainty so that no one goes forward blindly seeing how things change in the coming months or years. It is a plan that foresees 20 years of stability in fiscal matters."

The bill, which also seeks to promote regional development and guarantee self-sufficiency, provides for a general investment promotion regime that will be in effect for 20 years.