IAE warns Argentina YPF seizure could scare away international oil companies
Argentina's seizure of 51% of the shares of Spanish oil group Repsol's YPF unit could scare away international firms from investing in the, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.
The government takeover clouds the investment climate for international companies that might otherwise have been attracted to unconventional resources in the Vaca Muerta and other plays, the agency said in its monthly oil market report.
The IEA, which advises 28 industrialized nations on energy policy, also said the takeover could deepen the country's oil products import needs in the short and medium term. Argentina imported fuel worth 9.4 billion dollars last year as its local crude and product production fell, according to the IEA.
The decision to expropriate Repsol's share, rather than taking control of the share through the open market, is bound to negatively influence foreign investors' decisions in Argentina, the IEA said.
Looking forward, Argentina will need continued investment and an improved regulatory framework to turn resources into reserves.
One of the world's largest reserves of shale oil and gas, the Vaca Muerta formation – in which YPF holds a 40% stake – contains around 21.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent of hydrocarbon prospective resources, oil consultants’ estimate.
Argentina imported fuel worth 9.4 billion dollars last year as its local crude and product production fell, according to the IEA.