(Reuters, 19.May.2020) — Argentina’s government set the local crude oil reference price at $45 per barrel on Tuesday in a bid to protect the country’s hard-hit sector from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and low global prices.
Reuters reported in April that Argentina was planning to set a higher local oil barrel price after oil demand collapsed around the world due to the pandemic, and domestically due to a nationwide lockdown imposed in mid-March.
In the decree, the country’s center-left Peronist government said the decision was due to “the drastic fall in the international price of a barrel of oil that is seriously damaging the activity of the national hydrocarbon sector.”
Brent crude was trading at around $35 per barrel on Tuesday after recovering slightly from a low in April.
Argentina’s locally set oil price, known as the “criollo barrel”, has been used before to offset global price swings.
The South American country is home to the huge Vaca Muerta shale deposit, which is the size of Belgium. It is thought to hold one of the world’s largest reserves of unconventional hydrocarbons.
— Reporting by Eliana Raszewski and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Bernadette Baum