Traffic lights off after midnight, public buildings without hot water and monuments without lighting. In homes, the air cannot be less than 27 degrees, despite the heat wave that invades Europe. The energy crisis caused by the impact of the war in Russia forced governments to take measures to save energy. In Houston it is 31 degrees of wind chill, but inside the Hotel Houstonian, where the president Alberto Fernández announced that he will enact a bill to multiply energy investments in Argentina, the air conditioning is at 18 degrees. It’s just that in Houston, there’s plenty of energy.
Next week, the President will send a bill to give certainty to companies that produce gas and lithium and provide a favorable framework for the installation of gas liquefaction plants, those that allow the gas to be converted into a cold liquid and facilitate its transport for export: “We have to think about the redesign of the country based on a new matrix where energy is the central axis of development“Fernández assured before an audience of more than eighty businessmen from the Texas oil family.
The project is not the same as that presented in the erratic hydrocarbons law, which was not approved in Congress, or the differential scheme for the hydrocarbon sector of access to dollars in exchange for more production, which from the business sector they accuse not See results. In this The Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, and the Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón, work. They assure that it is an initiative to give confidence, stability and legal security for the production of gas, lithium and gas liquefaction plants. In the Government they estimate that he will enter Congress next week.
There is nothing more prominent than the energy sector in Houston, the most populous city in Texas. The background landscape of the trip between the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and the Houstonian Hotel where the exhibition “Energy Potential. Global Impact of Vaca Muerta” was held are kilometers of companies that rent drilling equipment, cranes, trailers and heavy machinery. They are trucks transporting pipes and oil. There is also the School of Sciences and Technology. To fill up on gasoline, cars can stop at Chevron and Exxon service stations.
“Argentina has resources in conditions of competitiveness and efficiency to supply the world with energy. Not only because of Vaca Muerta, but also because of the abundance of wind, sun and lithium. The world is in the midst of severe energy difficulties and in Argentina it is part of the solution. There are the natural resources, the accumulated knowledge and the political decision necessary to export energy to the world”, explained the President and, reinforcing the signs of stability that Sergio Massa began to give ten days ago in the same city and will revive next week Flavia Royón at the Vaca Muerta Shale Day event, also in Houston, stated: “There are no obstacles”.
With a background film that read “Lunch in honor of President Alberto Fernández”, more than eighty businessmen from the main firms in the sector greeted each other. The conversations that could be heard walking around the room alternated between ‘How are you doing, so long?’ -many met again because they traveled especially to Houston for this presentation- and the work meetings. “That is the key between offshore and onshore,” they spoke. The best-known faces among the guests were Pablo González from YPF, Juan Martín Bulgheroni from PAE, Bill Langin from Shell, and Eric Dunning from Chevron. Also representatives of Total, Exxon and Tenaris.
Many of them had already been meeting with Sergio Massa ten days ago in the same city. About the visits so little time away, they told PageI12: “The minister came to lay the foundations and it was a very important step, but it is essential that the President confirm it.” Ambassador Jorge Argüello, also in dialogue with PageI12, explained that the president’s visit is a similar message but “issued at the highest level, which gives it more substance.” Fernández himself was in charge of clarifying it at the conference: “It is not by chance that the Minister of Economy came a few days ago, now I and in a few days Flavia Royón and the governor of Neuquén, who is of another political sign. Vaca Muerta is a state policy and we are here to prove it“.
Dead Cow is the second unconventional gas reservoir and fourth unconventional oil reservoir in the world. The history of Vaca Muerta is marked by the characteristic of the unconventional resource, stored at a greater depth and in a rock with characteristics more hostile to extraction due to its low porosity, which requires a fracture to obtain it. “All the technical indicators of the quality of the resource, such as the thickness of the bedrock or the pressure of the reservoir, are optimal at the international level in terms of comparison with other sites in the world,” Fernández explained.
In ten years, the investment was 32 billion dollars and the cost of extraction fell from 93 dollars per barrel of oil equivalent to just over 7 dollars in the span of ten years, precisely when the mechanisms to promote Vaca Muerta began. . “After ten years of development and exploitation, Vaca Muerta today represents 40 percent of the total production of hydrocarbons in Argentina. Everything indicates that the results of the exploitation will continue to surprise us positively due to the continuous progress that we have seen in two areas: efficiency and cost reduction,” said the President.
This year, oil and gas production was a record in Argentina: “We will still have a deficit energy trade balance. But the estimate of experts, public and private alike, is that we will quickly reverse this situation and in 2026, we will reach a surplus annual estimate of 13 billion dollars. There are only four years left. By 2040, the calculation is that we will have doubled production. And half of that production will be destined for world markets.”
The major players in the basin market today they are YPF, Shell, Vista, PAE, Tecpetrol and Pampa Energía. There are four companies that concentrate 90 percent of the total oil production in Vaca Muerta. YPF extracts 59 percent of the crude oil produced in the Neuquén basin. They are followed by Shell and Vista, each contributing 11 percent of the total, and finally Pan American Energy (PAE) with 20 percent. In the gas business unit, YPF contributes 39 percent of the total and is closely followed by Tecpetrol with more than 20 percent from Fortín de Piedra. Pampa Energía ranks third with 10 percent of production. Between the three companies they concentrate 70 percent of the production of the basin.