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Milei’s Impact on Argentina’s Energy Landscape Outlook

Promising drastic change to Argentina’s government and economy, President Javier Milei has run into political speed bumps impacting the oil and gas industry in one of the largest shale patches in the Western hemisphere. Energy Workforce’s Latin America Chapter is eager to engage with the new government on opportunities for our member companies.

Javier Milei came into office in Argentina with a resounding 56% of the vote last December, championing free-market principles and a robust oil and gas sector. However, tensions flared when Argentina’s lawmakers pushed back against his bill aimed at expanding executive powers. In response, Milei publicly identified those who opposed the measure, intensifying the rift between his administration and Congress. Consequently, Argentine bonds faltered, and the peso depreciated amidst the political turbulence.

Milei’s ascent to the presidency brought significant changes at YPF, including the infusion of new leadership from Paolo Rocca’s oil and steel empire. Initially contemplating privatization, Milei shelved the plan amid negotiations with the lower house of Congress. However, navigating Argentina’s stringent nationalization laws, compounded by a $16 billion U.S. court ruling against Argentina, poses formidable challenges to YPF’s restructuring efforts. Despite headwinds, YPF aims to bolster its share price by divesting assets and refocusing on shale production, targeting a million barrels of crude daily from Vaca Muerta by 2030.

Recently, rumors around Exxon’s potential divestment of its Vaca Muerta assets, with Vista Energy emerging as a prospective buyer have emerged. The assets, valued at around $1 billion, include stakes in oil and gas blocks and pipeline holdings. Vista Energy eyes the opportunity to expand its footprint in one of Argentina’s premier shale regions.

Energy Workforce will host its first event in Neuquén at the Vista Energy offices on March 14. Join the Latin America Chapter for an insightful coffee and conversation with Gabriela Prete, exploring Vista’s sustainability initiatives, supplier engagements, and a preview of upcoming endeavors. This event is open to both members and non-members, promising enriching dialogue and networking opportunities.

Maria Suarez-Simmons, Senior Director Energy Policy, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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