Argentine hydrocarbons reform bill goes to congress

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Argentina's President Cristina Fernández and governors who make up hydrocarbons producing provincial organization Ofephi signed a hydrocarbons law reform bill.

The initiative, which now goes to the senate, aims to attract foreign investment and return the country to energy self-sufficiency.

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"The current law was created in 1967. It was introduced in a completely different political and legal context, and has become outdated," former Argentine energy minister and current head of energy consultancy IAE General Mosconi, Jorge Lapeña, told BNamericas previously.

"The legal status of provinces has changed in terms of their rights to oil and gas resources. Also, new factors have emerged, like non-conventional resources."

A government statement highlights that changes include new and different periods for concessions: 35 years for non-conventionals and 30 for offshore; and shorter permit periods to stimulate investment during exploration.

Provinces may grant 10-year concessions to those that make pledged investments, and may increase royalties 3% in each extension with an 18% cap.

The energy department and provincial authorities, within six months of reform approval, will agree to draft bidding rules for future tenders.

In addition, the bill ratifies, by law, resolutions that created a program to stimulate the injection of natural gas surplus, and promotes a special regime to import capital goods and supplies not produced in the country.

The nation and provinces also will adopt mechanisms to standardize hydrocarbon tax and environmental legislation.

BNamericas will host its 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit in Lima, Peru, on November 12-13. Click here to download the agenda.