We could not have visited the country at a more exciting time. 2015 has been a pivotal year for the industry, as Argentina attempts to wrestle back energy self-sufficiency in the immediate term, and anticipates a shale revolution in the medium to long term. To add to the velocity of change, Argentines ousted the populist government of the Kirchners, who between husband, and then wife, have governed the country since 2003, to elect President Macri in December, who leads a coalition fittingly entitled ‘Cambiemos’, ‘Let’s Chamge’ and has set about his mission with gusto. Currency controls have already been lifted, the Argentine debt as been successfully renegotiated and, after twelve years on the fringes, Argentina is now set to reintegrate with the global economy.
With the second largest shale deposits in the world outside of the USA, at ‘Vaca Muerta’ Argentines hope to imitate the shale revolution that has helped to lift the USA out of its economic gloom and enabled the country to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer. The challenge is as daunting as the opportunity is immense. Argentina must attract billions of dollars of investment as well as entice junior and independent oil companies with the relevant expertise to take a play in the development of its fledgling shale industry so that the bonanza that is shale can benefit the economy.