Echo Energy Updates On Onshore Argentine Licenses

(Echo Energy plc, 15.Nov.2018) — Echo Energy provided an update on its planned operational programme and the continued development of its regional portfolio.

Initiation of Two Well Stimulation Programme

During 2018, Echo drilled four wells across the company’s onshore licences in Argentina (Fracción C licence). The first (ELM 1004) and third (EMS-1001) of these wells were initially successful with the company announcing on 21 June 2018 that the third well in the sequence was considered potentially material following interpretation from the wireline logs.

Echo announced that the equipment required for the stimulation of these two wells is expected to be available for the beginning of December and that a stimulation programme for each of the two wells will therefore commence within 3 to 4 weeks.

Production Update

In 2018, the company also successfully completed four well interventions (CSo-96, CSo-104, CSo-21, and CSo-80) in the Cañadon Salto Field, onshore Argentina (Fracción D licence). On 22 October 2018, the company announced that these wells had achieved stable production levels. Production from these wells has contributed to a total company average net production in the year to 12 November, of 876 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Following the success of these workovers and the associated production uplift, the company has identified a number of additional candidates for well interventions and currently expects these operations to commence in Q1 2019.

Echo is also evaluating the potential for gas development projects within the Fracción D licence, with a view to monetising existing undeveloped 2C resources.

Tapi Aike

Echo’s primary objective in acquiring its Argentinean business earlier this year was to secure access to the high impact Tapi Aike exploration acreage.

The company intends to commence an exploration drilling programme on the licence in the second half of 2019, after completing the 1,200 km2 3D seismic programme which will start mobilisation in December.

The company believes that the Tapi Aike licence offers a compelling proposition with a likely 4 well drilling programme targeting multi Tcf potential with each well estimated to cost between $2M and $5M net to Echo.

Portfolio Development

Echo continues to actively evaluate a range of potential opportunities for the development of its portfolio in the region.

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BP, Pan American Eye Exporting Argentina Shale Gas As LNG Via Chile

(S&P Global Platts, 15.Nov.2018) — Pan American Energy, the second-biggest oil producer and third for gas in Argentina, is working with BP on potentially exporting LNG out of Chile, a project that could prove faster to get Vaca Muerta shale gas to market than building a liquefaction facility in Argentina.

The project is in the conceptual design phase and would involve delivering supplies over an existing Argentina-Chile pipeline to the Quintero LNG regasification terminal in Chile, said Alejandro Lopez Angriman, vice president of reserves development at Pan American.

The Quintero terminal “can be turned around so it can liquefy to export,” he said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Mendoza, Argentina.

The pipeline has 10 million cu m/d of capacity for moving supplies from Vaca Muerta to Chile, but is mostly running empty. It has been used over the past few June-to-August winters to bring regasified LNG to Argentina from Chile.

To deliver supplies to Chile, the pipeline would have to be modified with a loop, Lopez Angriman said.

BP — which owns 50% of Pan American alongside Bridas, itself 50% owned by China’s CNOOC — is helping on the conceptual engineering for the project, he added.

The project could cost around $300 million if it goes forward, he added, with the first train exporting 25 million cu m/d.

LOOKING FOR NEW MARKETS

The research into the project comes as gas production surges in Argentina, led by Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s largest shale plays.

The country’s overall gas production rose 14% to 130 million cu m/d this year from a 16-year low of 113.7 million cu m/d in 2014, allowing the country to restart exports by pipeline to Chile after an 11-year suspension.

The Energy Secretariat estimates that with enough investment Vaca Muerta could double the country’s gas production over the next five years to 238 million cu m/d, allowing exports to surge to 100 million cu m/d in 2023 from less than 1 million cu m/d this year.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Argentina exported 20 million cu m/d to Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, and the pipelines are still in place. The country halted exports in the mid-2000s as production plunged, bringing shortages and a surge in imports of Bolivian gas and LNG. Imports have averaged 30 million cu m/d since 2012, but started declining this year, according to Energy Secretariat data.

Pan American got a permit this year to export gas to Chile, and it likely will start to make deliveries during the upcoming December to February summer for consumption in that market, Lopez Angriman said.

But he said that won’t be enough to sustain a larger development of Vaca Muerta, where he estimates one field could easily supply the LNG export terminal.

“The field could produce 25, 50, or even 100 million cu m/d,” Lopez Angriman said. “It’s incredible the number of wells that you can do in Vaca Muerta for gas.”

Frackers, he added, have de-risked the gas potential in Vaca Muerta, and the next step is to find the capital to put it into full-scale production. But to attract investors, more pipelines are needed to get the gas out and additional markets must be found to increase sales so production can be sustained year-round, not slowed during the summer with the closing of wells. State-run YPF, the country’s biggest gas producer, had to close gas wells in the third quarter of this year, in part because warming temperatures and a contracting economy reduced demand.

Argentina has sharp fluctuations in gas demand, from 115 million cu m/d in the summer and peaks at 180 million cu m/d in the winter, according to data from Enargas, the national gas regulator.

“It is not a good thing to convince investors to invest in shale gas when production has to be halted during the summer,” Lopez Angriman said.

CUTTING WELLHEAD COSTS

While gas exports can be increased to neighboring countries, these markets suffer the same predicament as Argentina: their demand for gas plunges in the summer. That means LNG must be pursued if output from Vaca Muerta is to be expanded, he said.

But to do that, a big challenge is to bring down development costs in the play so the gas can be competitive against Australia, Qatar, the US and other suppliers in sales to Southeast Asia, where demand is expected to grow, Lopez Angriman said.

He estimates that at around $3/MMBtu, sales can be competitive. But to get there, Vaca Muerta development costs must come down 30%, and the focus is on easing the strain of frack sand, which accounts for 30% of the well completion cost, he said.

Frackers have shaved the cost of sand to $190/mt from $250/mt over the past few years, but it is still higher than the $60/mt figure in the US.

“If we are going to compete with the US or Canada, one way or another we have to reduce the cost of sand,” he said.

Help is to come from moving more sand by boat and train to Vaca Muerta, located in the southwest. Most of the sand is currently being trucked 1,000 km (621 miles) from Entre Rios, a central province, with transport accounting for 50% of the total cost of sand.

There is a government-led plan to extend a cargo railway to Vaca Muerta, but it is not likely to start for three to four years. Once it is in operation, the cost will come down because it is cheaper to move the sand from Entre Rios by river and ocean to Bahia Blanca, an Atlantic port where it can be loaded onto the train for delivery to the well sites.

THE ARGENTINA LNG OPTION

Pan American also is looking at the option of building liquefaction capacity in Argentina, as are other companies.

On Monday, YPF said it plans to install a floating liquefaction barge in Bahia Blanca to export up to 2.5 million cu m/d of LNG from 2019, and then work on building a larger export terminal.

The government, meanwhile, is studying a project for exporting LNG from a six-train onshore terminal in Bahia Blanca, likely starting in 2023 with shipments of 40 million cu m/d, increasing to 120 million cu m/d in 2025.

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Argentina’s Energy Secretary Iguacel Promotes Vaca Muerta in US Road Show

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 13.Nov.2018) — Argentina’s Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel participated in the annual Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPPA) meeting held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“We have a great opportunity to give Argentine citizens plenty of energy and at affordable prices. We are very happy because today we see there are many North American companies wanting to invest in Argentina with local companies,” reported Argentina’s Treasury in a statement on its website, citing Iguacel. “This will not only allow us to accelerate development of Vaca Muerta, but it will generate a lot of work and progress for many Argentine citizens.”

The meeting was attended by 35 Argentine companies and more than 50 North American companies interested in developing Argentina’s conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon potential and its value chain.

Companies in attendance included but were not limited to the following: Perez Companc Group, SICA Metalúrgica Argentina, SIDECO, MEDANITO-FLARGENT, CUDD, Ardyne, Nine Energy Service and Evcam, among others.

Also participating in the meeting was Argentina’s Ambassador to the U.S. Fernando Oris de Roa; Office of International Affairs of the U.S. Department of Energy Advisor Kennet Stevens; and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Advisor Deaver Alexander.

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President Energy Says Argentine Oil Well Better Than Expected

(President Energy, 13.Nov.2018) — President Energy announced that production results from its first new Argentine well were ahead of expectations, while results from the second new well were very encouraging.

Highlights from the Puesto Flores/Estancia Vieja Concession, Rio Negro Province (90% President and operator and 10% EDHIPSA, the Provincial energy company) follow:

— First new well PFO 1001 successfully completed and tested, flowing from the Pre Cuyo (a deeper and sandy secondary target formation) at over 200 bopd which is ahead of expectations for the whole well

— The primary target, some 200 metres higher up in the well with 15 metres of net pay and excellent porosity of 25% will be brought into production at a later date

— In due course this successful well is likely to result in an increase in President’s proven oil reserves

— Second new well PFE 1001 drilled to target depth on time and budget with oil and gas shows in mud logs in all three-target formations

— Acquisition of the two new Concessions in Rio Negro, Puesto Prado and Las Bases expected to be completed by early December

— Oil prices and peso/dollar rate stable, net backs at Puesto Flores now some US$40 per barrel

— Year-end 2018 Group exit net production target rate confirmed as in excess of 3,000 boepd

New well PFO 1001

PFO 1001 is a vertical well which has now been successfully completed and tested from only the secondary deepest and sandy target Pre Cuyo interval; during the test, production was over 200 bopd with only 2% water, which is in excess of production expectations from the well as a whole. The well has now been placed on production with an electrical submersible pump.

The main target, the shallower Punta Rosado formation 200 metres higher up the well, was observed to have a net pay of 15 metres and excellent porosity of 25%. It has however been decided that at the present time it would not be prudent to test and co-mingle that zone as President would first like to observe how the deeper Pre Cuyo intervals performs to gain a greater understanding of reservoir capability prior to bringing the main target on production.

In due course this successful well is likely to result in an increase in President’s proven oil reserves.

PFE 1001

This directional well has now been successfully drilled on plan, time and budget to the target depth of 2,550 metres.

Live oil has been seen on the surface, with good oil shows and full chromatography C1-C5 gas readings in the mud logs from both the primary Punta Rosado (predicted by President) and the secondary Pre Cuyo secondary targets as well as a shallower interval. The mud logs from the Pre Cuyo formation are particularly encouraging as this is the first time that such an interval has been penetrated in the Eastern part of the Puesto Flores Concession. President has at present no material oil reserves booked for this interval in such eastern part.

Electric logs are now being run and, following completion of these logs, the well will be cased after which the drilling rig will be transported to the next well to be drilled being PFO 1005, which is expected to spud at or around the end of November.

The workover rig, which is being released from the PFO 1001 will then be brought on to complete this well and, subject to successful testing, the well should be brought on stream in early December.

Puesto Prado and Las Bases Concessions

It is expected that the acquisition of these two new Concessions will be completed by early December. With the kind permission of the authorities of the Rio Negro Province of Argentina, President is making preparations to promptly commence production from these Concessions through opening up certain currently shut-in wells. A further announcement in respect of the Concessions is expected to be made in December.

As with President’s other concessions, President is very pleased to be able to continue its partnership with EDHIPSA, the Rio Negro Provincial energy company which will have a 10% participation interest in the Concessions.

Oil Price, net backs and peso rate

Whilst President has noted the recent decline in international oil prices, the US dollar price being obtained by President in Argentina for oil sales has been stable.

The oil price expected to be received in November for President’s oil produced from its main centre of operations in the Neuquen basin is approximately $66 per barrel; at this level, net backs there are now in excess of $40 after all operating costs, royalties and taxes but before G&A. President is not anticipated to pay any corporate taxes in Argentina before 2020.

The peso dollar exchange rate has likewise stabilised in the recent past as a result of successful government action and a perceived growing confidence in the markets. There are no current signs of the previous significant volatility and as far as President is concerned, it’s very much business as normal.

Exit Rate year-end 2018

President confirms that its targeted Group net exit production for the year-end 2018 is in excess of 3,000 boepd representing an increase of more than 50% year on year.

“We are energised by the progress we are making as we continue with the second new well in our drilling programme with our motivated, focused and impressive Argentine team. We view the prospectivity and greater potential of our Puesto Flores field with increasing confidence and continue to be grateful for the support given to us by the Rio Negro Provincial authorities and our partner there EDHIPSA,” said President Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Levine.

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Pampa Energia Curbs Polystyrene, Styrene Butadiene Rubber Output On Demand

(S&P Global Platts, Bernardo Fallas, 13.Nov.2018) — Argentina-based energy company Pampa Energia is cutting polystyrene and styrene butadiene rubber production amid lackluster demand in Argentina and barriers to export, two company sources said Monday on the sidelines of the 38th Latin American Petrochemical Association meetings in Cancun.

Pampa expects to shut its 65,000-mt/year PS plant December 1 through mid-January because of economic reasons, the company sources said. Production of SBR at the company’s San Martin complex also has been cut, as has production of ethylene at the company’s 19,000-mt/year cracker in San Lorenzo.

Argentina is weathering a financial crisis highlighted by high inflation and sharp devaluation of its currency, which in recent months prompted the government to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $57.4 billion bailout.

Demand for PS will close the year approximately 12% lower from 2017 levels, one of the sources said. Argentina’s recent implementation of temporary export taxes has hurt the company’s ability to place volumes overseas, given PS’s already-thin margins.

Pampa has also reduced production of aromatics such as benzene, toluene and mixed xylenes as it aims to reduce feedstock naphtha imports.

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YPF Says Combined Output Plummets 4.3% In 3Q:18

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 12.Nov.2018) — YPF announced that combined equivalent production fell 4.3% in the third quarter of 2018.

Total production fell to 529.1 Mboe/d in 3Q:18 compared to 553.2 Mboe/d in 3Q:17, and driven mainly by a decline in NGL production and natural gas demand restrictions, the company announced during its quarterly call with investors and analyst.

Year-over-year, production of NGLs was down 44.6%, natural gas production was down 1%, while crude oil production was up a slight 0.1%, the company said.

Looking forward, YPF announced its year-end 2018 production guidance has been revised to negative 3-4% compared to negative 2% earlier.

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Pampa Energía To Hold 3Q:18 Conference Call

(Pampa Energía, 12.Nov.2018) — Pampa Energía S.A. announced it will hold a conference call to discuss its 3Q:18 results on Tuesday November 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time / 12:00 p.m. Buenos Aires Time.

The host will be Lida Wang, Investor Relations Manager at Pampa.

For those interested in participating, please dial 0-800-444-2930 in Argentina, +1 (844) 854-4411 in the United States or +1 (412) 317-5481 from any other country. Participants of the conference call should use the identification password ‘Pampa Energía’ and dial in five minutes before the scheduled time.

Please download the Q3 18 Conference Call Presentation from our IR website. There will also be a live audio webcast and presentation of the conference at http://bit.ly/PampaQ318Call.

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Pampa Energía Announces Results For The Nine-Month Period And Quarter Ended On September 30, 2018

Pampa Energía Announces 3Q:18 Results, Accrual Impact

(Pampa Energía, 12.Nov.2018) — Pampa Energía S.A. announces results for the nine-month period and quarter ended on September 30, 2018. All figures are stated in Argentine Pesos and have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards except the application of IAS 29.

Main Results for the Nine-Month Period Ended on September 30, 2018 (‘9M18’) (1)

In order to reflect the financial performance, as from 2018 and for the comparative periods, financial results, selling and administrative expenses, which used to be assigned to holding and others, will be redistributed among power generation, oil and gas and petrochemicals.

Consolidated net revenues of AR$66,028 million (2), 82% higher than the AR$36,216 million for the same period of 2017 (‘9M17’), explained by increases of 110% in power generation, 98% in electricity distribution, 51% in oil and gas, 38% in petrochemicals and 162% in holding and others, partially offset by 21% of higher eliminations due to intersegment sales.

— Power Generation of 11,520 GWh from 12 power plants

— Electricity sales of 16,520 GWh to 3 million end-users

— Production of 45.6 thousand barrels per day of hydrocarbons

— Sales of 267 thousand tons of petrochemical products

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA (3) for continuing operations of AR$23,961 million, compared to AR$10,689 million for 9M17, mainly due to increases of AR$5,046 million in power generation, AR$4,524 million in electricity distribution, AR$1,159 million in oil and gas, AR$100 million in refining and distribution, AR$2,488 million in holding and others and lower intersegment eliminations of AR$8 million, partially offset by higher losses of AR$53 million in petrochemicals.

Consolidated loss attributable to the owners of the Company of AR$6,783 million, lower than the AR$3,094 million gain in 9M17, mainly explained by the AR$31,210 million loss accrued due to 121% of AR$ depreciation against US$ in 9M18, currency in which most of the Company’s financial liabilities are denominated, whereas the FS reports in AR$, without inflation adjustment.

Main Results for the Third Quarter of 2018 (‘Q3 18’) (4)

Consolidated net revenues of AR$26,310 million, 96% higher than the AR$13,415 million for the third quarter 2017 (‘Q3 17’), explained by increases of 107% in power generation, 108% in electricity distribution, 80% in oil and gas, 52% in petrochemicals and 246% in holding and others, partially offset by 41% of higher eliminations due to intersegment sales.

— Power Generation of 3,572 GWh from 12 power plants

— Electricity sales of 5,626 GWh to 3 million end-users

— Production of 45 thousand barrels per day of hydrocarbons

— Sales of 85 thousand tons of petrochemical products

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA for continuing operations of AR$9,078 million, compared to AR$4,355 million for Q3 17, mainly due to increases of AR$2,101 million in power generation, AR$1,033 million in electricity distribution, AR$567 million in oil and gas, AR$94 million in refining and distribution, AR$1,056 million in holding and others, and lower intersegment eliminations of AR$47 million, partially offset by losses of AR$175 million in petrochemicals.

Consolidated loss attributable to the owners of the Company of AR$7,135 million, lower than the AR$1,284 million gain recorded in Q3 17, mainly explained by the accrual of AR$17,438 million loss due to 43% AR$ depreciation against US$ in Q3 18.

Consolidated Income Statement

(For the nine-month period and quarter ended on September 30, 2018 and 2017, in millions of Argentine Pesos)

Notes:

(1) The financial information presented in this document are based on financial statements (FS) prepared according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), except application of IAS 29 (please refer to section 1.7 of the Earnings Release). Consequently, the FS discriminates the continuing operations from the assets agreed for sale, which are reported as discontinued operations.

(2) Under the IFRS, Greenwind, OldelVal, Refinor, Transener and TGS are not consolidated in Pampa’s FS, being its equity income shown as ‘Results for participation in associates/joint businesses’.

(3) Consolidated adjusted EBITDA represents the results before net financial results, income tax and minimum notional income tax, depreciations and amortizations, non-recurring and non-cash income and expense, equity income and other adjustments from the IFRS implementation, and includes affiliates’ EBITDA at ownership. For more information, see section 3 of the Earnings Release.

(4) The financial information presented in this document for the quarters ended on September 30, 2018 and of 2017 are based on unaudited FS prepared according to the IFRS accounting standards in force in Argentina, except application of IAS 29 (please refer to section 1.7 of the Earnings Release) corresponding to the nine-month period of 2018 and 2017, and the six-month periods ended on June 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

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Argentina Initiates U.S. ‘Vaca Muerta’ Road Show

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 12.Nov.2018) — Officials from Argentina initiated a road show today in the U.S. aimed at attracting investments in the Vaca Muerta formation in Neuquen.

Argentina’s Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel, along with officials and representatives from more than 30 oil companies, plan to participate in the investor road show that will take them to several cities in the U.S., reported online media Vaca Muerta News.

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Argentina Awaits Hydrocarbon Investments Of Nearly $13 Billion in 2019

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 8.Nov.2018) — Argentine hydrocarbon investments are projected to increase in 2019 compared to 2018, announced the country’s Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel.

“This year they invested $9 billion in oil and gas. Next year we expect investments of $13 billion and double the amount of equipment that is drilling,” Argentina’s Treasury reported in an official statement, citing comments made by Iguacel during his participation at the meeting ‘Energy in Argentina,’ which was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held at Palace San Martín.

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Argentina Aims To Cover 20% Of Energy Demand in 2025 With Renewables

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 8.Nov.2018) — Argentina’s shale boom taking place in the Vaca Muerta formation in Neuquen will not stop the country from pursuing goals related to renewable energies.

“We set out to promote renewable energies and assume a very specific commitment,” Argentina’s Treasury reported in an official statement, citing Argentine President Mauricio Macri during a visit on Nov. 7 to a plant run by Newsan.

“By 2025 [our aim is that] 20% of electricity demand will be covered by renewable energies,” said Macri.

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Argentina Biodiesel Chamber: U.S. Review Of Tariffs Could Revive Exports

(Reuters, Maximilian Heath, 8.Nov.2018) — The U.S. decision to review its tariffs on Argentine biodiesel could mean a reversal of fortune for exporters whose shipments from the South American country have been practically nil, the biodiesel chamber of Argentina said on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Wednesday there was “just cause” to review the taxes it applied at the end of 2017 to Argentine biodiesel, which cut off access to the main market for Argentina’s product at the time.

“This is a necessary and important first step,” Victor Castro, executive director of the Argentine Chamber of Biofuels (CARBIO), whose members include biodiesel exporters Cargill Inc and Bunge Ltd, told Reuters.

“We are convinced that tariffs are a totally unfair measure and it is very important to be able to export to that market,” he said, adding that due to limited international commercial activity, the production level in Argentine biodiesel plants has been very low.

Argentina is one of the world’s top producers of biodiesel fuel, exporting 1.65 million tons worth $1.224 billion in 2017.

This year, biodiesel producers in Argentina exported almost 1.1 million tons of the fuel between January and August, of which 85 percent went to the EU, according to official data from Argentina state statistics agency INDEC. However, in September and October the volume of biodiesel shipped abroad was zero.

The halt in exports coincided with the EU’s expected decision on whether to sanction Argentina’s biodiesel industry over suspicions of receiving subsidies. The EU postponed its ruling in late September, saying it would continue its investigation.

The announcement by the United States that it will review the tariffs comes a few months after Argentina increased duties on biodiesel exports and cut tariffs on grains and soybean oil shipments, a key ingredient for biodiesel production in Argentina.

Writing by Cassandra Garrison

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Argentina Announces Offshore Exploration Round 1

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 6.Nov.2018) — Argentina’s Energy Secretariat announced a tender for exploration activities offshore the Argentine continental shelf.

The activities will expand Argentina’s exploration and exploitation potential and potentially increase hydrocarbon production in an effort to ensure domestic supply.

Exploration permits cover around 200,000 square kilometers, and represent a total of 38 blocks in the Austral Marina, West Falklands and North Argentina basins, announced Argentina’s Treasury in an official statement on its website.

Details of the tender were published in the Official Gazette through the Resolution 65/201: Offshore International Public Competition No. 1.

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Argentina Switches On 70-MW Wind Park In Chubut

(Renewables Now, 6.Nov.2018) — Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mines announced on Monday that on November 2, the country switched on a 70-MW wind park in Chubut province.

Argentine thermal and renewable energy group Genneia SA was the developer behind the Parque Eolico Puerto Madryn I (PEM I), as it is named. The company invested USD 122 million (EUR 106.93m) in the project.

Spread in an area of 2,000 hectares, PEM I broke ground in August 2017. It is comprised of 20 V126 wind turbines supplied by Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS).

The farm should be able to generate 300,000 MWh per year, capable of meeting the annual demand of 100,000 local homes. Currently, there are 91 renewable energy projects in commercial operation or under construction that represent 3,334 MW, with an estimated investment of USD 4.75 billion, the ministry’s Undersecretariat for Renewable Energy noted.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.88)

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YPF Reports New Incident At Work-Over Well In Loma La Lata

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 6.Nov.2018) — The incident involved an estimated 0.6 cubic meters of water, gas and mud, and occurred on Friday November 2, 2018 during conditioning activities at a work-over well in Loma La Lata.

The incident was immediately controlled, reported online media AdnSur.

YPF didn’t respond to emails for comments or clarification regarding the incident.

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YPF Personnel Try To Mitigate Gas Leak In Bandurria

Argentina Allocates $500 Million For Users To Generate Energy

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 4.Nov.2018) — Argentina’s government has allocated $500 million for a special fund to be used to subsidize loans for the purchase of solar systems that allow users to generate their own electricity.

“There will be a credit subsidy so repayment of the investment is in no more than 7 years,” reported the daily newspaper Clarín, citing Argentina’s Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel. “The idea is to add 1,000 megawatts of this type of energy generation through 2030.”

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YPF To Invest $5 Billion Per Year During 2019-2023

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 4.Nov.2018) — YPF expects to make investments of $5 billion per year during the 2019-2023 period as part of its initiative to be a leader in the production of energy in Argentina.

As a result, YPF’s hydrocarbon production is expected to grow between 5% and 7% per year, the company announced in an official statement on its website.

“YPF plans to focus on cost improvement and operational excellence, while seeking to efficiently manage the decline of conventional deposits and accelerate the development of the unconventional,” the company announced.

YPF has already begun to apply conventional technologies related to secondary and tertiary recovery at mature reservoirs with good results in pilot projects in the Neuquén basin and the San Jorge Gulf, the statement said.

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Royal Dutch Shell Provides 3Q:18 Highlights For Brazil And Argentina

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 2.Nov.2018) — Royal Dutch Shell provided an update related to portfolio developments in Brazil and Argentina during the third quarter 2018.

Third Quarter 2018 Portfolio Developments

Upstream

During the quarter, Shell and its partner Chevron won a 35-year production-sharing contract for the Saturno pre-salt block located off the coast of Brazil in the Santos Basin (Shell interest 50%).

In October, Shell and its partners announced first production at the Lula Extreme South deep-water development in the Brazilian pre-salt Santos Basin (Shell pre-unitisation interest 25%).

Downstream

In October, Shell completed the sale of its Downstream business in Argentina to Raízen. The business acquired by Raízen will continue the relationship with Shell through various commercial agreements, including long-term brand licence agreements as well as products supply and offtake contracts.

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YPF Injects $4 Million In Aerolíneas Argentinas, Jorge Newbery Airport

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 2.Nov.2018) — Argentina’s YPF announced it will make an investment of nearly $4 million in Aerolíneas Argentinas destined to renovate 9 supply units and for other work related to process optimization at the Jorge Newbery Airport.

The announcement was jointly made by Grupo Aerolíneas President Luis Malvido and YPF President Miguel Gutiérrez on November 2, 2018 at a ceremony held at the air park facilities of the Jorge Newbery Airport, the state oil company announced in an official statement.

“The search for synergies and procedures that optimize our activities is a feature that distinguishes both Aerolineas Argentinas and YPF,” said Luis Malvido.

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Echo Energy Appoints Independent Non-Executive Director

(Echo Energy, 2.Nov.2018) — Echo Energy announced appointment of Dr. Gavin Graham as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the company with immediate effect.

Dr. Graham has nearly 40 years’ experience in the oil & gas industry, with 29 of those years at Shell. Commencing his career in 1980 as a development geologist in Oman, Dr. Graham subsequently spent 17 years in exploration before moving into a range of field development, governance and leadership roles, culminating in his appointment in 2004 as Vice President New Business & Commercial, Middle East, Caspian & South Asia. His career with Shell was followed by 6 years’ experience with Petrofac, an oil-field services company, as Executive Vice President Business Development & Technical Services, working in Malaysia, Mexico and the UKCS. In 2017 Gavin joined the Polish state company, Grupa LOTOS, co-ordinating the start-up of a new company, LOTOS Upstream, where he is currently Chief Executive Officer. LOTOS Upstream is focused on its producing assets in the North Sea, Poland and Lithuania.

“We are delighted to welcome Gavin, with his considerable experience and skills, to the Board. I look forward to working with him as we approach the drilling of the multi Tcf potential at Tapi Aike,” said Echo Energy Chairman James Parsons.

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Weatherford Reports Higher Activity Levels In Argentina and Mexico

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 29.Oct.2018) — Weatherford International plc reported Western Hemisphere 3Q:18 revenues of $762 million were down $7 million, or 1%, sequentially, and down $5 million, or 1%, year-over-year, the company reported in an official statement.

Compared to the second quarter of 2018, revenues in Canada improved seasonally as the rig count increased following the spring breakup, but were offset by lower results in the United States and negative foreign exchange impacts in Latin America.

Year-over-year revenue increases from integrated service projects in Latin America were offset by lower activity levels in Canada as crude differentials expanded, which reduced demand for Completions and Production services and products.

Third quarter segment operating income of $78 million was up $28 million sequentially and up $75 million year-over-year. The sequential increase benefited from lower expenses and improved operating efficiencies mainly associated with the transformation. The year-over-year improvements were driven by a combination of higher activity levels in Argentina and Mexico and the positive impacts from our transformation efforts, which overcame lower operating results in Canada and foreign exchange effects in Latin America, the company said.

Operational highlights in Latin America during the quarter include:

— In Mexico, Weatherford replaced an incumbent’s system with the Magnus RSS, which ran onshore alongside the RipTide® drilling reamer to drill and enlarge a directional well with a 42° profile.

— Weatherford displaced an incumbent in Brazil by signing a new tubular running contract with Petrobras. The contract awards Weatherford work on 14 deepwater rigs, which represents significant market share.

— Working in collaboration with a customer, Weatherford devised an integrated solution that included logging, pressure pumping services, and the FracAdvisor® workflow to execute the first documented multistage frac job in the Jurassic Superior Pimienta Shale in Mexico. The large-scale solution complied with new government regulations and overcame significant logistical issues to fracture 17 stages in less time than allotted.

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Argentina Makes Small $2 Million Payment For Bolivian Gas

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 27.Oct.2018) — Bolivia’s Central Bank (BCB by its Spanish acronym) announced Argentina made a “small payment” of $2 million related to a debt with Bolivia for the purchase of natural gas.

The debt accumulated with Bolivia by Argentine’s state oil company Integración Energética Argentina SA (IEASA), formerly known as Energía Argentina SA (Enarsa), prior to the payment was $454.63 million and comprised of the following: $265 million for gas imports for July and August, $132 million for an invoice from October, $50.16 million for interest related to late payments during 2008-2017, and another $5.47 million for the same concept, but corresponding to 2018, reported the daily newspaper La Razón.

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YPF To Spend Billions To Boost Oil And Gas Output

(Reuters, Eliana Raszewski, Hugh Bronstein, 26.Oct.2018) — Argentina’s state-controlled oil company, YPF, will significantly boost oil and gas production, investing between $4 billion and $5 billion per year through 2022, Chief Executive Daniel Gonzalez told Reuters on Friday.

It plans to raise production by between 5 percent and 7 percent per year, with the largest increase in the Vaca Muerta formation, one of the world’s largest reserves of shale oil and gas.

The company intends to invest $3.6 billion on infrastructure in Vaca Muerta over the next five years, Gonzalez said, adding that the company is looking to speed up shale oil and gas extraction, with 1,700 wells drilled by 2023.

YPF shares jumped 4.3 percent to 562.35 pesos ($15.20) per unit in afternoon trade, after having traded down 2.5 percent earlier in the day.

“Crude oil is going to grow, I would say twice as fast as natural gas for us in the next five years,” Gonzalez said.

“Having said that, crude oil production will be seven times what it is today and shale gas will be four times what it is today in five years. So there will be a significant growth in unconventional (shale) production,” he said.

The company also plans to begin exporting gas to Chile, and investing in offshore exploration in the Argentina’s Gulf of San Jorge, on the southern Atlantic coast.

Gonzalez said the plans would allow YPF to double its dividends every year over the next three years.

“We are going to do that in a very disciplined way, reducing our debt significantly, increasing our dividends and more importantly generating cash that we can invest in new ventures. All of this growth can be financed organically by the company, by markets and our cash generation,” Gonzalez said.

YPF said it will also double its electricity generation capacity, and that 20 percent of that electricity would come from renewable sources by 2023.

While YPF is the leading investor in Vaca Muerta, the Argentine government has tried to spur investment in the region with a labor agreement to incentivize competition among oil and gas drillers, construction companies and mid-stream service providers.

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Argentina Buys An Average 16.2 MMcm/d From Bolivia in Sep.

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 26.Oct.2018) — Argentina purchased an average 16.2 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d) of natural gas from Bolivia in September 2018.

However, the volumes are nearly 5 MMcm/d below contractual agreements, reported the daily newspaper La Razón.

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Echo Energy Updates on Well Result In Argentine Production Uplift

(Echo Energy, 22.Oct.2018) — Echo Energy announced plans to boost production at the Cañadon Salto Field in the Fracción D licence in Argentina, where it has now achieved 115 barrels per day (from 5 barrels per day) following four successful pilot well interventions.

Work has now been completed on four wells in the Cañadon Salto Field using the Quintana-1 rig as part of the previously announced plan to boost production. All four targeted wells (CSo-96, CSo-104, CSo-21, and CSo-80) have now been successfully commissioned, with production, pumps and offtake being optimised.

This initial phase has already produced very encouraging results with the combined oil production from the four wells currently totalling in the order of 115 barrels per day, with these rates increasing as the wells ‘oil-in’ and the pumps and associated facilities are optimised. The CSo-96 well which was the first well to be commissioned has seen a material increase from its initial production of 12 barrels per day rising to the current level of 60 barrels per day and is an indicator of potential capacity of these wells.

Prior to the interventions the total gross production from the Cañadon Salto Field area was less than 5 barrels per day out of the total gross oil production across the CDL licences (Fracción C, Fracción D and Laguna De Los Capones) of around 500 barrels per day (number excluding gas production). This increased production post interventions represents a more than 20 fold increase for the Cañadon Salto field.

The results of the pilot project well performance will now be monitored, with a view to considering next steps for the field. A full-scale remediation project across the field could potentially see production levels of over 400 barrels oil per day achieved with a commensurate increase in contingent resources.

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Bolivian, Argentine Officials to Discuss Gas Issues in La Paz

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 21.Oct.2018) — Officials from Argentina and Bolivia will meet in La Paz on Oct. 22 to discuss issues related to the purchase and sale of natural gas and overdue payments.

A mission of authorities from Integración Energética Argentina S.A. (IEASA, formerly ENARSA) will meet with their Bolivian counterparts to explore solutions to accumulated unpaid debts related to the purchase of Bolivian natural gas, reported the daily newspaper La Razón.

Argentina owed an estimated $265 million to Bolivia for the purchase of natural gas from its neighbor. This figure is expected to rise to $398.5 million, including last month’s purchases of $133.5 million, reported the daily.

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Argentina To Reduce Bolivian Gas Imports To Minimum

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 20.Oct.2018) — Argentina will likely reduce its demand for Bolivian natural gas imports to a minimum, says an oil analyst.

Argentina, which continues to boost production of its unconventional shale gas resources located in the Vaca Muerta formation in the Neuquen region, will likely reduce its demand for natural gas imports from Bolivia to a minimum 23.5 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d), reported the daily newspaper El Diario, citing Jubilee Foundation Oil Analyst Raul Velásquez.

The analyst made the comments after declarations from Argentina’s Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel that revealed that in two years the country would no longer need to import gas from Bolivia.

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YPFB Reports Explosion Along Santa Cruz-Yacuiba Gas Pipeline

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 19.Oct.2018) — An explosion along a portion of a pipeline that transports natural gas to Argentina injured a total of five people.

Bolivia’s state oil entity Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPFB) has initiated an investigation to establish the causes and origin of the incident, reported the daily La Razón.

“This event has been sudden and unexpected. We don’t know the causes … however it is being investigated,” reported the daily, citing YPFB National Vice President of Operations Gonzalo Saavedra in an interview with Cadena A.

At noon on October 19, an explosion occurred along a portion of GSCY (Santa Cruz – Yacuiba) gas pipeline in the city of Villa Montes, in the department of Tarija. The explosion was controlled in a couple of hours.

All the injured were transferred by helicopter from Villa Montes to a medical center in Santa Cruz de la Sierra due to the severity of the burns. Among the victims there are two children, the daily reported.

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Environmental Emergency: 720,000 Lt. Oil Spill in Chile

(TeleSur, 19.Oct.2018) — The spill is the largest ever registered in the region of Tierra del Fuego.

In the southernmost region of Tierra del Fuego in Chile, an oil spill has unleashed an environmental emergency affecting at least 6,000 square meters, according to the National Emergency Office.

This is the largest spill registered in the Magallanes region. On Wednesday an oil leak from a plant owned by Chile’s National Oil Company (ENAP) and operated by YPF, Argentina’s Fiscal Oil Fields, reached the narrow river Chorrillo Paraguaya carrying the leak and affecting more land and water surface.

Chile’s regional secretariat for the Environment Ministry said, “the spill was contained in Rio Cullen, so it is affecting this river and several unnamed lakes.” Authorities don’t expect the spill to reach the Strait of Magellan or the Atlantic Ocean.

Authorities have yet to determine what caused the leak while YPF confirmed they have recovered 60 percent of the leaked oil.

“We will take all the measures to understand why these situations occur … and to determine what measures the companies will take to ensure these accidents do not take place because they generate gigantic environmental damage that we cannot accept,” Chile’s Environment Minister and businesswoman Carolina Schmidt said Thursday.

Senators Guido Girardi and Aysen Ordenes of the Environmental Commission announced legal actions against those responsible for the spill. “We cannot be complacent. The minister has said that everything is under control — that’s a lie, everything is not under control, this cannot be controlled. It takes a long time to control and we are going to present a criminal suit for environmental reparation…” Girardi said.

Greenpeace Chile has also expressed their concern over the spill and announced they will monitor the situation to ensure “an effective and transparent response by the authorities to minimize the effects in the area.”

Environmental Scandal Rocks Chile

A toxic cloud above Quintero in Chile is affecting hundreds of people in the coastal town.

Posted by teleSUR English on Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Related Stories:

Vaca Muerta Megaproject – A Fracking Carbon Bomb In Patagonia

YPF Personnel Try To Mitigate Gas Leak In Bandurria

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 19.Oct.2018) — YPF personnel conducted operations today to mitigate a gas leak located at the Bandurria deposit in Neuquén.

No injuries were reported, and the location was evacuated for security reasons to initial contingency work, reported the media outlet Río Negro.

YPF didn’t reveal details about the incident.

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Argentina Plans To Close LNG Importing Facility

(Bloomberg, Jonathan Gilbert, 17.Oct.2018) — Argentina plans to close a facility for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, after booming production from shale deposits in the Vaca Muerta region turned the country into a seasonal exporter.

A contract with Excelerate Energy, which has a regasification ship moored at the Atlantic port of Bahia Blanca, won’t be renewed when it expires at the end of the month, said the people, who asked not to be named because the decision isn’t yet public. Argentina will continue to import LNG at another facility in Escobar, on the River Plate estuary, the people said.

YPF SA, the state-run oil company that manages the contract, declined to comment on the decision. A spokeswoman for Excelerate didn’t immediately comment.

The decision not to renew the decade-old contract comes as output from Vaca Muerta, the nation’s answer to the Permian basin, has created an oversupply of gas during the summer. Shale gas production soared to 205 million cubic meters a day in August, more than triple the level seen a year earlier. The government has negotiated exports to Chile to help solve the problem. It has also initiated talks to receive less gas from neighboring Bolivia, with which it has a contract through 2026.

Three Cheniere Energy tankers were set to unload at Bahia Blanca this year through May, according to the latest official import schedule.

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YPF Inaugurates Phase I Of 99-MW Wind Park In Argentina

(Renewables Now, 17.Oct.2018) — Argentine state-run oil company YPF inaugurated on Wednesday a portion of a 99-MW wind park in Chubut province that will produce clean power for its deposits and refineries.

The first 50-MW phase of Manantiales Behr, as the park is named, has been switched on. The whole wind farm is comprised of 30 wind turbines in total, spread over an area of 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres), with 25 installed and five nearing completion.

Through YPF Luz, the oil company invested some USD 200 million (EUR 173.82m) in Manantiales Behr. Once fully operation it will be producing as much power as Comodoro Rivadavia city consumer, offsetting 241,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.

Currently, YPF Luz has 1,800 MW of operational assets in its portfolio, and it plans to double its capacity in the upcoming years. It also has 800 MW of green projects under evaluation or construction, it noted.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.87)

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Argentina Looks to Cease Bolivian Gas Imports By 2020

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 16.Oct.2018) — With its own gas projects to develop, Argentina is seeking to reduce imports of natural gas and by 2020 it expects to stop buying it completely from Bolivia.

In the run up period, Argentina looks to reduce Bolivian gas imports by 20% in 2018, by 50% in 2019, and by 2020 they would no longer be necessary, reported Bolivian media La Razon, citing Argentina’s Energy Secretary Javier Iguacel.

The plan announced by the Argentine official is based on three current massive developments and four other promised in the Vaca Muerta formation, which spans four provinces: Neuquén, Río Negro, La Pampa and Mendoza.

Currently, the Neuquén Basin produces almost 70 million cubic meters of gas per day (MMcm/d) and Argentina expects to boost production in the basin to nearly 90 MMcm/d with additional investments.

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Echo Energy Announces Successful Initial Perforation At EMS-1001 Well In Argentina

(Echo Energy plc, 15.Oct.2018) — Echo Energy plc announced an update on the initial perforation phase on the third Argentinian well.

The company previously drilled four wells across its onshore licences in Argentina. On 21 June 2018, the company announced that the third well in the sequence (EMS-1001 in the Fraccion C licence which reached a total depth of 2460m in the Upper Jurassic Tobifera formation) was considered potentially material and transformational. This followed initial interpretation (from the wireline logs) of an extended oil column in the Tobifera Formation.

Echo has now perforated and performed inflow tests on two representative intervals, with a view to ensuring no mobile formation water presence prior to rigless mechanical stimulation of the well (the standard technique in this basin).

The results of the inflow tests confirm intervals are suitable for mechanical stimulation.

The rig is now off contract and has been demobilised following completion of all anticipated rig based activities. Once design and planning is complete Echo expects to return to EMS-1001 and co-ordinate activity with planned stimulation of the ELM-1004 anticipated to commence by year-end.

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Echo Energy Continues To Progress Argentina Wells, Signs New Deal In Bolivia

(Proactive Investors, 15.Oct.2018) — Echo Energy Plc told investors that it has confirmed that its third Argentinian well will be suitable for mechanical stimulation, and, it will now move on to the next stage in operations.

The company, in a statement, updated on the EMS-1001 well at the Fraccion C – which was drilled into the Jurassic Tobifera formation, previously described as “material and transformational”.

Latest operations saw the company perforate and perform inflow tests on two intervals, to ensure there’s no mobile formation water presence ahead of rigless mechanical stimulation work.

The drill rig has now been demobilised, meanwhile, design and planning are being finalised for the stimulation work. The company expects to start the stimulation of both the EMS-1001 and ELM-1004 wells before the end of this year.

Separately, Echo also announced that it has signed a new agreement in Bolivia for the onshore Rio Salado Block.

A technical evaluation agreement (TEA) was signed between Echo Energy Plc and state-owned oil and gas firm YPFB (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos).

It details the work commitments for Echo to undertake at Rio Salado, including the interpretation and integration of 2D seismic data with a view to better understand deep structures which have been mapped as crossing between the Rio Salado and Huayco blocks.

Echo highlighted that it has estimated the whole structure at around 1.75 trillion cubic feet of gas in place.

At the end of the TEA period, Echo will have the right to negotiate a longer-term contract with YPFB.

The company also said that it will continue to advance its joint venture at Huayco where, in the past year, it has completed a full reprocessing of 250 square kilometres of 3D seismic data.

‘We are delighted to have signed the TEA with YPFB for the Rio Salado block, as well as extended our agreement with Pluspetrol regarding Huayco, given the potential we see running across both blocks,” said Fiona MacAulay, Echo chief executive.

“Much technical work has been done and we are pleased that by extending our agreement with Pluspetrol we have given ourselves time to further analyse what we still believe to be exciting potential as we evaluate newly available industry data across the licence areas.”

Echo noted that it does not yet hold an interest in Rio Salado, and any acquisition of a stake in the exploration venture remains contingent upon agreeing to commercial terms in the future.

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Bolivia’s Gas Lower than LNG, Vaca Muerta Shale: Sánchez Says

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 12.Oct.2018) — Bolivian natural gas is more competitive than liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas from Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation, announced Bolivia’s Hydrocarbon Minister Luis Alberto Sánchez.

The minister stressed that Bolivian gas, priced at $7/MMbtu, was much cheaper than Argentine gas.

Argentina’s LNG imports cost around $10.50/MMbtu, while the production cost in Vaca Muerta is around $7.50/MMbtu, so “the most competitive gas for the Argentine market is undoubtedly Bolivian gas,” reported the daily newspaper El Diario, citing Sánchez.

Sánchez warned that if Argentina decides to pay a lower price (reduces the price), it must pay the Take or Pay (contract modality), which establishes a fine be paid for any energy not withdrawn, plus interest.

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Bolivia Gas Exports To Argentina To-date Averaging 18 MMcm/d

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 11.Oct.2018) — Bolivian natural gas exports shipped by YPFB to Argentina to-date have averaged 18 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d).

These volumes are below the minimum 20.9 MMcm/d guaranteed by the state oil company and a maximum 24.6 MMcm/d requested by Argentina, reported the daily newspaper El Diario.

Despite the shortfalls, Bolivia’s Hydrocarbon Minister Luis Alberto Sanchez reiterated that Bolivia had sufficient natural gas reserves to fulfill contractually agreements with Argentina until 2026, when the contract between the two countries expires.

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Añelo: The Two Realities of this Small Town in the Heart of Neuquen

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 10.Oct.2018) — Añelo is a small oil town located in the heart of Neuquen and the Vaca Muerta shale revolution. This small town with a population of almost 8,000 is expected to swell to tremendously in coming years as the shale boom picks up speed, says Jorge Lanata of Argentina’s El Trece TV during his tour of Añelo back in 2014.

https://youtu.be/L05if9Rs2wM

 

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Argentina’s Vaca Muerta Looks to Attract $7 Bln in Investments in 2019

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 6.Oct.2018) — Investors could inject $7 billion into the Vaca Muerta in 2019, announced Neuquén Governor, Omar Gutiérrez.

“In 2019, we will have 15 new drilling rigs conducting unconventional activity and reach an investment record with $7 billion,” reported the Argentine daily newspaper Clarin, citing comments from the official made during the International Oil & Gas Exhibition in the capital of Neuquén. “Each team requires a workforce of 200 people, therefore we will be generating 3,000 new jobs,” he add.

According to projections for next year, new extraction numbers could also be established.

In 2019, Argentina’s natural gas production is expected to reach 90 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d), while crude oil production is expected to reach 140 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d). This compares to current Neuquén production of 68.6 MMcm/d and 113 Mb/d, the daily reported, without citing its sources.

The Neuquén basin generates 50% of Argentina’s gas, of which 61% of this figure currently comes from the Vaca Muerta, according to the daily. Additionally, 50% of the oil produced in Neuquén is also extracted from Vaca Muerta.

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YPF Updates On Oil Combustibles S.A. Bankruptcy Proceedings

(YPF, 3.Oct.2018) — YPF S.A. received notice of the decision adopted by the judge in charge of Oil Combustibles S.A.’s bankruptcy proceedings, which awarded the industrial assets of the bankrupt company to YPF and Destilería Argentina de Petróleo S.A. (DAPSA), pursuant to the local and international bidding process carried out in connection with the sale of Oil Combustibles S.A.’s assets.

The total price of the transaction amounts to $85,000,000, and such amount will be allocated in a manner to be agreed upon by YPF and DAPSA.

The assets that YPF will acquire, especially the docks and fuel storage tanks located in the Paraná River fluvial terminal, will allow YPF to expand its logistics capacity for future fuel imports and exports, as well as to achieve possible regional expansion.

DAPSA will be in charge of the management and supply of Oil Combustibles S.A.’s gas stations that were part of its commercial network.

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Argentina: The Energy Challenge

(YPF, 1.Oct.2018) — Argentina’s unconventional oil & gas resources are among the world’s largest. YPF is working and investing to increase production with the aim of meeting the challenge of regaining energy self-sufficiency.

The importance of hydrocarbons

Energy is the basis of our society and our way of life. We depend on it for food production, transportation, heating, electricity, lighting, telecommunications and technology.

The economic development of the country depends on the availability of oil and gas, the main sources of energy which do not only generate electricity.

90% of the objects we use every day are derived from petroleum products. Petroleum is also essential for producing bottles, bags, cell phones, watches, clothing, paint, detergents, fertilizers, toothpaste, hair conditioner and much more.

Moreover, in Argentina, 1,800 million liters of diesel are used to produce 100 million tons of grain annually.

It is estimated that by 2040 renewable energies will occupy nearly 15% of the world’s energy matrix. However energy from fossil fuels will continue to occupy a high percentage of more than 80%.

Resources to regain self-sufficiency

Due to the natural decline of conventional hydrocarbon reserves and a sustained increase in demand for fuel and the thousands of products derived from it, in addition to alternative energies it is also necessary to explore and add new resources. Shale is a sedimentary formation with low permeability which contains unconventional hydrocarbons housed in the micropores of the rock. To extract oil and gas from this rock conventional perforations are performed similar to those used in Argentina over the past 70 years, and with the addition of a next-generation technology known as hydraulic stimulation. The highest safety standards are applied in this technique and this ensures both efficiency and environmental care.
Our country has an enormous worldwide potential to obtain large hydrocarbon reserves from unconventional resources.

Vaca Muerta

It is a geological formation of 30,000 km² (12,000 km² in concession to YPF) located mainly in the province of Neuquén and containing oil and gas found at a depth of more than 2,500 meters, far from the groundwater that in this region is located at a depth of between 300 and 400 meters.

The relevance of Vaca Muerta is so significant that the development of only a small part of this formation could cover the country’s energy deficit.

Read he full story online here.

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Argentina Still Owes Bolivia $250 Mln For Gas Imports

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 27.Sep.2018) — Bolivia’s government plans to meet soon with Argentine authorities in the Casa Rosada to again address the issue of late payments.

“They still owe us two bills, and in the coming weeks we are going to discuss with the government how to regularize the fundamental payment issues,” reported the newspaper La Razón, citing Bolivia’s Hydrocarbon Minister Luis Alberto Sánchez.

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Neuquen Gas Production Reaches 69.8 MMcm/d in August 2018

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 27.Sep.2018) — Crude oil and natural gas production from the Neuquen Basin rose sequentially in August 2018.

Oil production reached 120,551 barrels per day (b/d) in August 2018, up 6.64% compared to July 2018, and up 16.9% compared to August 2017, while gas production reached 69.8 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d), up 2.48% sequentially, and up 13.3% year-over-year.

A large part of this growth was due to three massive developments carried out in the unconventional area, the Government of the Neuquén Province reported in an official statement on its website

Of this total, Vaca Muerta today produces 65,186 b/d of oil (54% of what the Neuquen basin produces) and 43.2 MMcm/d of gas (62% of what the Neuquen basin produces). Of this last figure, 30% corresponds to shale gas (20.5 MMcm/d) and 32% to tight gas (22.6 MMcm/d).

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Methane Fears Cloud Argentina’s Shale Oil And Gas Future

(Financial Times, Benedict Mander, 23.Sep.2018) — Green energy groups say huge shale oil and gas reserve is leaking greenhouse gases.

Jorge Daniel Taillant used a $100,000 infrared camera this year to investigate whether oil and gas installations in Vaca Muerta were leaking toxic gases. The grainy black-and-white thermal images that the ecology activist took confirmed what he suspected.

Although invisible to the naked eye, gases were detected seeping into the atmosphere from every one of the sites he visited. Particularly significant was methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

“Methane is leaking everywhere,” says Mr Taillant, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Environment, a non-governmental organisation founded in Argentina and now based in the US. He says at least 5 per cent of Vaca Muerta gas produced is lost, often leaked intentionally when pressure needs to be released.

“There is a history of abuse as no one is controlling the sector,” says Mr Taillant. “And that’s not going to change any time soon — there is no credible environmental authority.”

Argentina’s ambitions to develop Vaca Muerta are ringing alarm bells among environmentalists, since it is considered to be one of the few remaining significant but mostly undeveloped energy reserves left on the planet.

As such, some experts say the development of Vaca Muerta and other comparable resources in Venezuela and Russia could jeopardise the UN 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change.

“If Argentina is to fully develop Vaca Muerta, it would blow a hole in the carbon budget,” argues Guy Edwards, co-director of Brown University’s climate and development lab in the US.

“It is one of the key reserves that, according to climate science, should stay underground if there is a chance of achieving the Paris goals,” he adds.

Most recognise it is unrealistic to expect Argentina to leave Vaca Muerta untouched. Its development is considered a national priority across the political spectrum, given its potential as an engine for economic growth. Javier Iguacel, the energy secretary, ridiculed the idea that Argentina might simply stop exploiting its hydrocarbons. “ Norway is not going to stop producing oil, and nor are we,” he says.

Argentina’s energy-related emissions are projected to increase 45 per cent between 2010 and 2030, according to the Berlin-based non-profit institute Climate Analytics, largely because of Vaca Muerta. Few expect Buenos Aires to meet its commitment to the Paris Agreement. Like every other country, its goals were not very ambitious to begin with, says Mr Edwards.

Instead, activists are pushing to mitigate the problems that can be controlled, with methane being “far and above the biggest issue from a climate perspective”, says Jonathan Banks, senior policy adviser at the Clean Air Task Force, a green energy advocate.

Although carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for as long as 1,000 years, methane begins to disappear after 20, during which time it is more than 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the climate, Mr Banks says.

Fortunately, he adds, methane is also one of the easiest and cheapest climate problems to deal with. That is why many countries and regions such as Canada, Mexico and California have focused on methane emissions when finding ways to meet Paris targets.

“Good maintenance, better equipment and installations, and just good practices can dramatically reduce emissions from these developments,” Mr Banks adds. “As far as climate change goes, it’s cheap stuff. It’s not a nuclear power plant, it’s tightening bolts.”

A study by the International Energy Agency found it is possible to reduce global methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by up to half at no net cost. That would be equivalent to shutting down every coal plant active in China today, the report says.

Yet even if Argentina succeeds in reducing methane emissions, there is the broader question of whether developing Vaca Muerta makes strategic sense, given how environmental concerns and technological advances are shaking up the energy sector.

The Inter-American Development Bank recently highlighted the danger of “stranded assets”, given that renewable energy is becoming increasingly competitive, warning that countries could be stuck with fossil fuel infrastructure that may become obsolete faster than expected. Others, such as Brown University’s Mr Edwards, say backing fossil fuels risks curtailing interest in renewable energy.

Argentina’s plan is to supply its own market with renewable energy and the gas from Vaca Muerta, which officials say is cleaner than other options. This is despite concerns from environmental lobbyists that leaking methane could be just as bad as the pollution from coal-fired power stations. If Argentina manages to fulfil its goal of becoming a net exporter of gas, this could even help China rely less on its dirty coal-fired power stations, indirectly aiding the environment, Mr Iguacel says.

“What’s the timeframe?” Mr Edwards asks. “If most countries are on some kind of path to decarbonising their energy sectors, do you really want to be pumping billions into an industry that is looking like it is on the way out in the coming decades?”

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Unlocking the Potential of Argentina’s Oil and Gas Resources

(Chevron, Clay Neff, 23.Sep.2018) — ‘A stable and predictable business environment is essential to draw the investment capital needed,’ says Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company President Clay Neff.

Argentina is one of the few nations outside North America that has the potential to replicate its neighbour’s shale revolution.

The unconventional oil and gas resources in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation are world class. As such, their level of productivity can compete with any of the shale formations at the centre of the US oil and gas boom — and that includes the prime US area of the Permian basin in Texas.

The Argentine government has taken important steps toward creating an environment that encourages investment in Vaca Muerta.

We at Chevron believe that, if the right conditions continue, this large resource will bring additional investment, continued employment and economic growth to the country while helping to meet the growing global demand for affordable, reliable energy.

Vaca Muerta’s current production of about 160,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day could grow to almost 900,000 boe/d by 2024 if the country can attract $4bn of investment a year, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

A stable and predictable business environment is essential to draw the investment capital needed to ensure Vaca Muerta reaches its potential. A key task for industry executives is to analyse how a country’s risk-reward calculus matches up against others competing for investment. It will be particularly important for Argentina’s government to adhere to free market principles.

Reducing drilling and production costs by increasing efficiencies is also important to attract more investment to Vaca Muerta. A key reason the shale revolution has seen such success in the US in the past few years is that companies have become highly efficient in their operations through process improvements and new technologies.

In partnership with Argentina’s national oil company, YPF, Chevron has made great strides in improving hydrocarbon recovery and lowering drilling costs at our Loma Campana joint venture in the Vaca Muerta shale. Horizontal wells and advanced completion techniques are leading to recoveries competitive with areas of the Permian basin.

Last year, our unit development cost, the cost per barrel, decreased 25 per cent compared with 2016. Furthermore, we expect costs to go even lower and close to the levels seen in areas such as Permian’s Midland basin.

Sustaining lower production costs will require better infrastructure. The Neuquén basin, where Vaca Muerta is located, has enough infrastructure to support the production levels of old as far as conventional oil and gas resources are concerned. However, more is required to achieve the large-scale development that will fulfil its much greater potential.

Significant steps in the right direction have been taken with the planned construction of new railroads and pipelines. But more is needed to ensure the area is internationally competitive.

Chevron, one of the largest foreign investors in the Vaca Muerta shale, continues to do its share to advance the development of this resource. In partnership with YPF, we have increased drilling from two to three rigs at our Loma Campana project. We are seeing continued improvement in performance thanks in part to the use of best practices from unconventional oil and gas areas in the US.

We are also looking at the Vaca Muerta shale in other parts of the Neuquén basin. In our El Trapial field, for example, we will be executing an eight-well appraisal programme to assess the potential of its unconventional reserves.

Argentina is on the right path to make the large-scale development of Vaca Muerta a reality. The responsible development of the extensive unconventional oil and natural gas resources has the potential to be an once-in-a-lifetime economic engine for the country.

Clay Neff is the president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company

***

Argentina’s Conventional Oil and Gas Attract Explorers

(Ft.com, Charles Newberry, 23.Sep.2019) — Fresh discovery indicates life beyond Vaca Muerta.

A few years ago, when the giant shale play of Vaca Muerta was starting to lure oil majors such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell to Argentina’s south-west, a small company called Roch struck oil far away at the country’s southern tip.

The result surprised Ricardo Chacra, the company’s president. Roch had found oil in Tierra del Fuego, traditionally a source of natural gas, in a formation that had not been thought to hold much promise after more than a century of exploration in Argentina.

“We found something new,” Mr Chacra says. The find has fuelled optimism that Argentina’s mature conventional oil and gas reservoirs may have more to give. “When you drill into a mature field, you expect to drill into a squeezed lemon,” Mr Chacra says. “You take out what you can. But sometimes you find a virgin lemon.”

Argentina first struck oil early last century on the mainland of southern Patagonia, about 1,000km north of Tierra del Fuego, and exploration and production spread to the west and north-west. Argentina has the fourth-largest proven oil reserves in South America, trailing Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador and equal with Colombia. But production and reserves sagged under the populist Peronist governments of 2003-15, as price controls and other regulation deterred exploration.

President Mauricio Macri has been removing such constraints to bring capital back to Argentina and his policies have attracted several oil majors. Most of them, however, are going to exploit Vaca Muerta’s shale, the source of unconventional oil and gas that is promising to make Argentina an energy powerhouse for the Americas as a whole.

While a handful of smaller companies has wanted to invest in Vaca Muerta, “it’s incredibly expensive”, says Fiona MacAulay, chief executive of London-based Echo Energy. Instead her company is exploring three conventional blocks in the south of the country at what she estimates to be a 100th of the cost of Vaca Muerta acreage.

Thanks to Argentina’s long history of oil activity, talent, services and infrastructure are available. Gas is delivered by pipeline to Buenos Aires and there are ports to handle oil storage and deliveries.

“The big conventional finds have already been made in Argentina,” says Hugo Giampaoli of local energy consultants GiGa. Even so, they have more to offer. Luciano Fucello, country manager for Houston-based services company NCS Multistage, estimates that only 20 per cent of Argentina’s oil has been recovered.

Daniel Kokogian, a director of Argentina’s Compañía General de Combustibles, says his company has more than doubled its gas output over the past two years in the south, and expects to find “a lot” of conventional oil to recover.

Such potential may not be enough to attract the big guns away from Vaca Muerta but a number of small independents are still taking a shot at a more conventional oil and gas approach.

Canada-based Madalena Energy, for example, is using the cash flow from conventional output to finance drilling in costly Vaca Muerta, says its chief executive, José Penafiel. He estimates that while it takes five to six years to generate a positive cash flow in Vaca Muerta, conventional projects pay back in two to three years.

For companies such as his, which are on far tighter budgets than the majors, he says, “you have to make sure you have the sufficient cash flow to stay in the game long enough to see the value creation of the bigger shale plays”.

An alternative is to push offshore. Several small UK companies, such as London-based Premier Oil and Rockhopper, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, in the south of England, have explored waters around the Falkland Islands that are claimed by Argentina. While still in the pre-development phase, these companies’ finds could spur bids for acreage in Argentine waters in a bidding round, the first in two decades, proposed for this year. “Pretty much every major I know is looking to bid in that offshore round,” Ms MacAulay says.

“Offshore is the last big question mark for exploration in Argentina,” says Mr Kokogian. Much hope is being pinned on waters about 300km-400km from the coast in depths of more than 1,500m. “We have to go to see what is there,” Mr Kokogian adds. “The prize could be big, or very big.”

***

YPF Announce Settlement Of Previously Announced Tender Offer

 

(YPF, 18.Sep.2018) — YPF S.A. announced settlement of the previously announced tender offer to purchase for cash any and all of its outstanding 8.875% Senior Notes due 2018.

The Tender Offer expired at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on September 17, 2018. At the Expiration Date, valid tenders had been received with respect to U.S.$176,245,000 of the U.S.$452,198,000 aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Securities.

YPF has accepted for payment all Securities validly tendered prior to the Expiration Date. On September 18, 2018, such tendering holders will receive the purchase price in the amount of U.S.$1,005 for each U.S.$1,000 principal amount of Securities tendered, plus accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the date hereof.

Itau BBA USA Securities Inc. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated are acting as the dealer managers for the Tender Offer. The information agent and depositary is D.F. King & Co., Inc. Copies of the Offer to Purchase, Letter of Transmittal and Notice of Guaranteed Delivery, with respect to the Tender Offer, and related offering materials are available by contacting D.F. King at (800) 628-8509 (toll-free), (212) 269-5550 (banks and brokers) or www.dfking.com/ypf.

Questions regarding the Tender Offer should be directed to Itau BBA USA Securities Inc.

by telephone at +1 (888) 770-4828 (U.S. toll free) or + 1 (212) 710-6749 (collect) or Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated by telephone at +1 (888) 292-0070 (U.S. toll free) or +1 (646) 855-8988 (collect).

***

#LatAmNRG

Argentina Owes Bolivia $250 Million for Natural Gas Sales

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 14.Sep.2018) — Argentina owes Bolivia $250 million, which corresponds to two-months of natural gas sales.

“Hopefully they can honor the debt,” reported the daily newspaper La Razón, citing Bolivia’s Hydrocarbons Minister Luis Alberto Sánchez.

***

Argentine President Inaugurates Biogas-Fueled Electric Plant

(Efe, 14.Sep.2018) — President Mauricio Macri inaugurated on Friday a biogas-fueled electric plant in the Argentine province of Cordoba that he said will supply energy to 12,000 households and generate “quality jobs.”

“A country can’t grow without energy,” he said during the ceremony at the plant in Rio Cuarto, which he described as one of 150 renewable-energy projects under way nationwide.

Within a few years, Macri said, Argentina will be able to export gas and oil while benefiting from “affordable energy to add value” to commodities.
“This is the country we all want, a country that grows from creating quality jobs,” the president said.

Before inaugurating the Rio Cuarto plant, Macri visited a new wind farm in Achiras, 70 kilometers (43 miles) away, equipped with 15 turbines generating 48 MW of power, enough to supply energy to 47,000 homes.

***

Excelerate Energy, TGS Sign Deal to Study Liquefaction Project in Bahía Blanca

(Excelerate Energy L.P., 10.Sep.2018) — Excelerate Energy L.P. and Transportadora de Gas del Sur S.A. announced the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly collaborate on the assessment of a liquefaction project in the city of Bahía Blanca, Argentina. Argentina currently imports liquefied natural gas (LNG) through two floating import terminals, particularly during the country’s peak winter consumption. The successful development of Argentina’s shale gas reserves resulted in a potential excess of natural gas during the summer months. The project aims at studying the technical and commercial viability of liquefying and exporting natural gas during the summer season, allowing a more sustainable development of shale gas resources and reducing Argentina’s annual natural gas net import needs. The study is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, at which time Excelerate and TGS will share the results with government and industry officials and decide on further actions towards the implementation of the Project.

“Given the high seasonality of Argentina’s natural gas consumption, LNG has played a critical role in meeting the country’s energy demands,” stated Excelerate’s Chief Commercial Officer Daniel Bustos. “This Project will significantly enhance Argentina’s capacity to maximize the use of local resources by allowing a more predictable development of shale gas production while reducing the overall costs of importing LNG.”

TGS is carrying out an important midstream project aimed at the transportation and conditioning of the natural gas production derived from the Vaca Muerta Basin, located in the province of Neuquén, Argentina. This Project represents an essential contribution to the development of shale gas reserves, promoted by the National and Provincial Governments, as it will ensure the infrastructure required to inject incremental gas production to the main transportation systems.

“Carrying out LNG production through the Project will be key to promote the development of unconventional gas, since it will allow to expand the scale of the gas market, increasing export opportunities, after having met domestic market needs in Argentina,” stated TGS’ Chief Commercial Officer Néstor Martín.

Both Excelerate and TGS have been critical players in the growth of the Argentine energy industry. Currently, one hundred percent of LNG imported and regasified into the country is through Excelerate’s two floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs). Excelerate developed South America’s first LNG import terminal in 2008 in Bahía Blanca, following with the second terminal in 2011 in Escobar, Argentina. TGS is the leading natural gas transportation company in Argentina and owns and operates South America’s largest pipeline network. The project underscores both party’s commitment to seeing Argentina’s energy sector become more sustainable for the long term.

***

YPF Board Names María Luján Bianchi As Chief Compliance Officer

(YPF, 7.Sep.2018) — The Board of Directors YPF S.A. announced, at its meeting held on September 6, 2018, approval of appointment of María Luján Bianchi as Chief Compliance Officer. Luján will report to the Audit Committee.

***

#LatAmNRG

Argentina to Seek Bids on Renewable Energy Projects

(Efe, 6.Sep.2018) — The government of Argentina announced Thursday that it will launch a third round of tenders for bids on renewable energy projects in October.

The announcement was made by the undersecretary of Renewable Energy, Sebastian Kind, during the Argentina Wind Power 2018 conference, organized by the Global Wind Energy Council.

The third round of the RenovAr program will seek to take advantage of the existing medium-voltage networks.

Kind explained that, while Argentina works on expanding its high-voltage networks, the government seeks to promote diverse renewable energy projects throughout the country that will use the existing medium-voltage networks.

“We seek to bring in capital from non-traditional actors to develop renewable energy projects and take advantage of the existing medium-voltage networks to promote regional development,” Kind said.

The undersecretary said that the projects will be presented next March, and that the contracts are expected to be signed in July 2019.

“We have taken the decision to make the announcement beforehand (…) to provide more time for the projects to be designed,” he said.

The Argentine government has already developed two stages of its RenovAr program, the first having begun in 2016, when 17 renewable energy projects for 1,109 MW were assigned.

RenovAr 2, for its part, was launched last year, when 22 projects for 634.3 MW were allotted.

***

Argentina: Exploration And Production Snapshots

(Deloitte, 31.Aug.2018) — In the wake of a decade-long slump in Argentina’s oil and gas industry, the country is now well positioned to resurrect international investment and exploit its world-class resources to their full potential. With the support of a new pro-business government and the discovery of massive shale potential in the Vaca Muerta basin, the road to revitalizing Argentina’s natural gas-based economy is clear: attract skilled workers, upgrade its infrastructure, and adopt new technologies to spark the first shale revolution outside of North America.

Read the full report here by Deloitte.

***

#LatAmNRG

Pentanova to Change Name to CruzSur Energy Corp.

(PentaNova, 30.Aug.2018) — PentaNova Energy Corp. announced that effective at the market opening on September 4, 2018, the company will change its name to “CruzSur Energy Corp.” and its common shares and listed share purchase warrants will commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange on a consolidated basis of one (1) new share for ten (10) existing shares under the symbols “CZR” and “CZR.WT” respectively.

Following the consolidation, the company will have approximately 24,220,160 common shares and 5,625,001 listed warrants issued and outstanding. No fractional shares or warrants will be issued. Instead, all resulting fractional shares and warrants of less than one-half will be rounded down to the nearest whole number, and of one-half or greater will be rounded up to the nearest whole number.

The new CUSIP number for the consolidated shares is 22889C103 and the new ISIN number is CA22889C1032. The new CUSIP number for the consolidated warrants is 22889C111 and the new ISIN number is CA22889C1115.

***

Argentina Re-ignites Labor Deal to Spur Investment in Vaca Muerta

(Reuters, Eliana Raszewski, 28.Aug.2018) — Argentina relaunched a one-year-old agreement between the government, companies and workers on Tuesday to drive competition and spur development in the Vaca Muerta shale play, the government said in a statement.

The original agreement, signed just over a year ago, sought to boost production by incentivizing competition among oil and gas drillers in the region. The government is now looking to bring in other business sectors like construction and mid-stream service providers.

“We are not going to stop until we export $30 billion in gas and oil from Vaca Muerta,” President Mauricio Macri told employees of state-controlled energy company YPF during a meeting with them in the southwestern province of Nequen.

Argentina is trying to double production in the region, aiming to pump 260 million cubic meters of gas daily within five years, the government said in the statement. Of that, 100 million cubic meters per day would be destined for international markets, according to the government’s plans.

YPF presented its proposal to small and medium-sized businesses involved in the oil and gas supply chain earlier this year, in an effort to drive competition, the statement said.

“We want to increase production by 100 to 130 fractures per month, which can be achieved by working with unions and supply companies,” YPF President Miguel Gutierrez said.

YPF, with its partners, has invested $8.4 billion in the region. It is the leading investor in Vaca Muerta, one of the largest non-conventional oil and gas formations in the world.

In June, companies in Vaca Muerta increased oil production by 5 percent compared with the same month last year. Gas production increased 8.2 percent over the same period, according to data from the Energy Ministry.

***

PentaNova Energy Provides Financial, Ops Update

(PentaNova Energy Corp., 24.Aug.2018) — PentaNova Energy Corp. filed its financial and operating results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018. All dollar values in this news release and the Company’s financial disclosures are in United States dollars, unless otherwise stated. All production figures are measured in barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Financial Statements

Revenues for the periods presented were obtained from the working interest in the Llancanelo, Mariposa, and Sur Rio Deseado assets which represent 90 and 92 days of production during Q1 2018 and Q2 2018, respectively.

Highlights

Llancanelo

The Llancanelo net production recorded for each of the periods is for the 39% working interest held during Q1 2018 and Q2 2018. Subsequent to the closing of the Roch acquisition on October 27, 2017, which included an additional 10% working interest in Llancanelo, the Company’s Llancanelo net production increased to 39% working interest.

During Q2 2018, the Llancanelo concession produced a total of 41,057 net boe (105,302 gross boe) compared to 43,827 net boe (111,024 gross boe) in Q1 2018, representing roughly a 5% decrease in production. This equated to average daily production of 451 net boe/d in Q2 2018 compared to 481 net boe/d in Q1 2018. The reduction in production can be attributed to scheduled maintenance that required certain wells on the concession to be shut in during the maintenance period.

Impairment Loss

During the six months ended June 30, 2018, the Company recognized impairments relating to the Llancanelo Asset of $25.0 million. These impairments were the result of the difference between the period‐end net book value and management’s assessment of the recoverable amount of the Llancanelo Asset as of June 30, 2018 on account of the formal notification received from YPF regarding the relinquishment of the Company’s working interest in the Llancanelo Asset and the termination of the YPF Farm‐In. Following completion of the write‐down, the Llancanelo Asset had a carrying value of approximately $10.6 million.

Mariposa

The Company holds a net working interest in the Estancia La Mariposa block of 18%, entitling it to 18% of the oil, natural gas and condensate sales, while the operator carries 100% of the capital expenditures and field operating costs. The net revenue figures associated with the Mariposa Asset are presented net of any applicable royalties and certain operating costs of transportation, treatment and processing. Oil and natural gas production is sold on behalf of the Company, for which the Company receives proceeds from the operator, net of the aforementioned royalties and operating costs. The net revenue generated from this asset has not been included in any “per barrel” pricing herein. Mariposa revenue, net of royalties, of $189,049 and $351,606 were realized in Q2 2018 and Q1 2018, respectively. These revenue amounts were derived from net production of 11,653 boe and 16,210 boe during the respective periods. Reduction of net revenue in Q2 2018 is the result of decreased production from the Mariposa Asset due to a workover campaign on some of the wells that was carried out by the operator during the quarter.

Financial Results & Balances

— The Company had a working capital deficiency of $12.6 million as of June 30, 2018

— Impairment loss of $25.0 million was recognized during the three months ended June 30, 2018

***

Former PDVSA Director Detained in Argentina

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 17.Aug.2018) – A former PDVSA director has been detained and accused of money laundering.

Luis Abraham Bastidas Ramírez, the cousin of former PDVSA President Rafael Ramírez, was detained in Argentina, wrote reporter Dean Rojas in a tweet on his personal twitter account.

Ramírez’s capture was ordered by the Principality of Andorra as it related to the possible laundering of $5 million, wrote Rojas in his tweet.

State oil company PDVSA has yet to emit a statement regarding the developments.

***

Guyana to Become 5th Largest Oil Producer in LAC Region

(Energy Analytics Institute, Piero Stewart, 15.Aug.2018) – If all goes off as planned, by 2025, Guyana will be the 5th largest oil producer in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Source: Trading Economics

That’s according to an analysis of data posted by Trading Economics, and extrapolation of estimates of Guyana’s future oil production, as announced by Kevin Ramnarine, the former Energy Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Oil production in Guyana is expected to come online at 120,000 barrels per day in 2020 and peak at 750,000 barrels per day by 2025, according to Exxon,” said Ramnarine, now an international petroleum consultant, during a webinar with Guyana’s Minister of Finance, the Honorable Winston Jordan and hosted by Caribbean Economist Marla Dukharan.

Considering initial production of 120,000 barrels per day in 2020, Guyana will first occupy the spot as the 7th largest oil producer in the LAC region, assuming no drastic changes in the other countries’ production profiles over the next couple of years.

However, in the process, by the time peak production is reached five years latter, Guyana will have surpassed OPEC producer Ecuador, assuming production in that country, as well as others, doesn’t experience a drastic decline, as has been the case in Venezuela in recent years.

***

 

PDVSA Leaves Argentine Gas Station to Fend for Itself

(Reuters, Luc Cohen, 15.Aug.2018) – As Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA saw its finances devastated by low oil prices and mismanagement, it funneled millions of dollars to Petrolera del Conosur (PSUR.BA), a loss-making Argentine gas station operator it controls.

PDVSA decided to cut off the support payments late last year, according to a person familiar with Petrolera del Conosur’s operations, as the once-proud icon of Venezuelan oil production struggled with declining output aggravated by a worsening economic crisis.

The transfers had totaled $89 million between 2013 and 2017, according to a Reuters review of filings with Argentina’s securities regulator, years that coincided with a frustrated effort by Venezuela to extend the petro-diplomacy it employed in the Caribbean to the southern cone of Latin America.

Profitability was likely never the true goal of Venezuela’s Argentina foray, said David Mares, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego. In 2006, late President Hugo Chavez unveiled a plan to transform PDVSA from a commercial company to a domestic and international political tool.

Before oil prices crashed in 2014, Venezuela’s government used PDVSA to fund social programs at home and provide countries in the region with cheap fuel to promote its socialist model and push back on United States influence.

The most well-known example is Petrocaribe, a program through which Venezuela sends crude and fuel to Caribbean countries on generous credit terms or through barter deals. But Chavez also signed deals with governments elsewhere in the region, including Argentina and Uruguay, to sell fuel and invest in energy infrastructure.

“The idea of having a series of gasoline stations in Argentina would fit in that context. It’s to show the Bolivarian revolution benefits people at the ground level,” Mares said. “The surprise is that they’ve lasted so long, because PDVSA is broke, the country is broke.”

PDVSA in 2006 purchased a 46 percent stake in Conosur from Uruguay’s ANCAP, which it boosted to a controlling 94 percent in 2010. PDVSA’s website still boasts of a goal to run 600 stations in Argentina to gain a market share of 12 percent in the country.

Conosur’s struggles come as some of PDVSA’s other overseas ventures, most launched through a wave of overseas expansion in the 1980s or as part of Chavez’s attempts to use “oil diplomacy,” have been scaled back or shuttered.

One of the most emblematic is Hovensa, a refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands operated jointly with Hess Corp (HES.N), that filed for bankruptcy in 2015.

‘STRATEGIC ALLIANCE’

Since 2013, Conosur has posted hundreds of millions of pesos in annual losses. Fuel sales at its PDV Sur and Sol-branded stations have plunged 86 percent, as it struggled to compete with rivals like state-owned YPF (YPFD.BA), which produce their own crude and refine their own fuel.

PDVSA also strove to become an integrated player in Argentina, but efforts to acquire upstream and refining assets never worked out, the person said.

Neither PDVSA nor PDVSA Argentina, the subsidiary that owns the Conosur stake, responded to requests for comment.

And in a sign of how Venezuela’s economic crisis has derailed its ambitions to challenge U.S. diplomatic and financial power through regional energy integration, Conosur has not notified Argentina’s stock watchdog of any payments from PDVSA since Dec. 29, 2017.

The choice to cut off support amounts to a formal abandoning of the upstream goals in favor of strengthening the existing network as part of a restructuring of the company, said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

“The supports were rational when the goal was the whole supply chain,” the person said, adding the company was in talks for a strategic alliance with a fuel supplier to access cheaper refined products, rather than depending on the spot market.

That deal could be necessary to keep the company alive without PDVSA’s support.

The company posted a 177.5 million peso loss in 2017, and warned on Dec. 20 that PDVSA’s transfers had helped it avoid being dissolved in accordance with the requirements of an Argentine corporate law for companies that run out of capital.

Since then, losses have accelerated, to the tune of 226 million pesos in the first half.

Conosur’s struggles have dashed many employees’ hopes that PDVSA’s takeover would signal a new era of prosperity at the chain, which had also struggled under Uruguayan ownership.

“We saw it as a panacea,” said one former employee, laid off earlier this year with around a dozen others. “But it was more or less the same.”

Additional reporting by Alexandra Ulmer in Caracas and Marianna Parraga in Mexico City; Editing by Bernadette Baum

***

Pampa Energía Announces Merger Completion

(Pampa Energía S.A., 15.Aug.2018) – Pampa Energía S.A. fully executed the swap of Pampa’s shares for the minority holdings of Petrolera Pampa S.A., Central Térmica Güemes S.A., Inversora Nihuiles S.A. and Inversora Diamante S.A., duly communicated on August 10, 2018.

As a result, the issued capital stock of Pampa increased from 1,938,368,431 to 2,082,690,514 ordinary shares, which net of the share repurchases made under the programs announced on April 27 and June 22, 2018, amounts to 1,938,715,514 ordinary shares as of today.

The finalization of this corporate reorganization is another key milestone in the history of Pampa, ending a process that started with the acquisition of former Petrobras Argentina S.A. back in May 2016, aiming to simplify and maximize the efficiency of the Company’s structure, derive significant operative efficiency, benefit from optimized use of available resources and the streamlining of technical, administrative and financial structures, among other improvements.

***

Technology, New Innovations and the LatAm Energy Sector

(Energy Analytics Institute, Pietro D. Pitts, 14.Aug.2018) – The ability to use hydraulic fracturing to tap shale formations, to remotely monitor and manage assets, and use advanced technology to heat reservoirs, are a few of the many new innovations used in the capital intense hydrocarbon sector.

Faced with rising competition worldwide for conventional crude oil and natural gas reserves, both of which are limited and depleting resource bases, the global hydrocarbon sector has in general gravitated towards a common goal, maximizing oil and gas reserve recoveries, while at the same time maintaining or preferable reducing operating costs.

While advanced oil-field technologies such as three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) seismic have been used globally for many years, the varying complexities of today’s hydrocarbon sector require ever more sophisticated technologies with capabilities to process data in real-time, among other advances, and that help international oil companies (IOCs) and national oil companies (NOCs) to make rapid and most importantly, accurate decisions.

Still, the global hydrocarbon sector has been slow to embrace the use of Information Technology (IT) to assist in the collection, processing, analysis and distribution of data in real-time. But, this case has been especially true in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.

Regional NOCs have slowly taken to incorporate IT into their operations as they have come to realize the advantages outweigh the proposed disadvantages, which include but are not limited to giving access to sensitive information to third-party companies from countries that often do not share the same political or economic ideologies.

Today’s advanced and innovative technologies, including but not limited to: sensors, automated valves, and remote satellites, now help IOCs, and increasingly more regional NOCs, monitor producing fields and wells and any number of assets from remote centralized control centers in cities such as Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Caracas or Buenos Aires.

In essence, these technologies help the companies streamline their processes with the ultimate aim to increase oil and gas recovery factors and production, monitor assets for potential accidents or thefts, while helping to reduce time needed to gather information on their assets while also reducing personnel excesses. The bottom line is that the incorporation of certain technologies has assisted companies to reduce operating costs.

The ability to use hydraulic fracturing to tap shale formations, to remotely monitor and manage assets, and use advanced technology to heat reservoirs, are a few of the many new innovations in use in today’s hydrocarbon sector.

***

Argentina’s Pampa Energía Reports 1H:18 Results

(Pampa Energía S.A., 13.Aug.2018) – Pampa Energía S.A. reported results for the six-month period and quarter ended on June 30, 2018. All figures are stated in Argentine Pesos and have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards.

Main Results for the First Semester of 2018 (1)

In order to reflect the financial performance of each business segment, as from 2018 and for the comparative periods, the selling and administrative expenses, as well as the financial results, which used to be assigned to holding and others, will be redistributed among the operating segments.

Consolidated net revenues of AR$39,718 million(2), 74% higher than the AR$22,801 million for the first half of 2017, explained by increases of 113% in power generation, 91% in electricity distribution, 34% in oil and gas, 30% in petrochemicals and 126% in holding and others segment, partially offset by 9% of higher eliminations as a result of intersegment sales.

— Power Generation of 7,948 GWh from 12 power plants

— Electricity sales of 10,894 GWh to 3 million end-users

— Production of 45.9 thousand barrels per day of hydrocarbons

— Sales of 182 thousand tons of petrochemical products

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA(3) for continuing operations of AR$14,881 million, compared to AR$6,435 million for 1H17, mainly due to increases of AR$2,945 million in power generation, AR$3,438 million in electricity distribution, AR$592 million in oil and gas, AR$6 million in refining and distribution, AR$79 million in petrochemicals and AR$1,425 million in holding and others segment, partially offset by higher intersegment eliminations of AR$39 million.

Consolidated profit attributable to the owners of the Company of AR$352 million, lower than the AR$1,810 million gain in 1H17, mainly explained by AR$13,772 million losses accrued due to 55%(4) of AR$ depreciation against US$, currency in which most of the company’s financial liabilities are denominated, whereas the FS reports in AR$, without inflation adjustment.

Main Results for the Second Quarter of 2018(5)

Consolidated net revenues of AR$20,317 million, 74% higher than the AR$11,661 million for the second quarter 2017, explained by increases of 116% in power generation, 78% in electricity distribution, 37% in oil and gas, 57% in petrochemicals and 151% in holding and others segment, as well as 5% of lower eliminations as a result of intersegment sales.

— Power Generation of 3,659 GWh from 12 power plants

— Electricity sales of 5,344 GWh to 3 million end-users

— Production of 45.9 thousand barrels per day of hydrocarbons

— Sales of 95 thousand tons of petrochemical products

Consolidated adjusted EBITDA for continuing operations of AR$7,505 million, compared to AR$3,208 million for Q2 17, mainly due to increases of AR$1,643 million in power generation, AR$1,247 million in electricity distribution, AR$486 million in oil and gas, AR$44 million in petrochemicals and AR$944 million in holding and others segment, partially offset by losses of AR$49 million in refining and distribution, and higher intersegment eliminations of AR$18 million.

Consolidated loss attributable to the owners of the company of AR$2,661 million, higher than the AR$91 million loss in Q2 17, explained by the accrual of AR$11,367 million losses due to 43%6 of AR$ depreciation against US$.

 

1 — The financial information presented in this document are based on financial statements (‘FS’) prepared according to the International Financial Reporting Standards (‘IFRS’) in force in Argentina, and consequently, the FS discriminates the continuing operations from the assets agreed for sale, which are reported as discontinued operations.

2 — Under the IFRS, Greenwind, OldelVal, Refinor, Transener and TGS are not consolidated in Pampa’s FS, being its equity income being shown as ‘Results for participation in associates/joint businesses’.

3 — Consolidated adjusted EBITDA represents the results before net financial results, income tax and minimum notional income tax, depreciations and amortizations, non-recurring and non-cash income and expense, equity income and other adjustments from the IFRS implementation, and includes affiliates’ EBITDA at ownership. For more information, see section 3 of this Earnings Release.

4 — 1H18 nominal exchange rate variation.

5 — The financial information presented in this document for the quarters ended on June 30, 2018 and of 2017 are based on unaudited FS prepared according to the IFRS accounting standards in force in Argentina corresponding to the six-month period of 2018 and 2017, and the quarters ended on March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

6 — Q2 18 nominal exchange rate variation.

***

Mexico’s CNH to Speak at EnerCom Conference

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 9.Aug2018) – The 23rd annual EnerCom conference will take place in the Denver Downtown Westin Hotel on Aug. 19-22, 2018.

Companies with exposure to Latin America that will participate in special panels during the event include the following:

Oil & Gas in Mexico Panel

— Talos Energy Inc. – Gulf Coast region and Gulf of Mexico offshore operations

— International Frontier Resources – drilling the Tecolutla Block onshore Mexico

— Mexican Commission National Hydrocarbons (CNH) – Mexico’s national oil and gas regulator

International Panel

— Jadestone Energy, Inc. – Asia Pacific E&P

— Valeura Energy Inc. – Canadian E&P with principal operations in Turkey

— GeoPark – Latin oil and gas company developing assets in Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina

***

Shell Offers 1H:18 LatAm Updates

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 1.Aug.2018) – Royal Dutch Shell plc announced the following updates during the first half of 2018.

Mexico

In the deep-water bid round in Mexico in January for the Gulf of Mexico, Shell won four exploration blocks on its own, four with its partner Qatar Petroleum and one with its partner Pemex Exploración y Producción. Shell will be the operator of all nine blocks.

Brazil

Shell won four additional deep-water exploration blocks in Brazil, one block on its own, and three in joint bids with Chevron, Petrobras and Galp. Shell will be the operator of two blocks.

Argentina

In April, Shell signed an agreement to sell its Downstream business in Argentina to Raízen. The sale includes the Buenos Aires refinery, around 645 retail stations, the global commercial businesses, as well as supply and distribution activities in the country. The businesses acquired by Raízen will continue the relationship with Shell through various commercial agreements.

***

Pampa Energía Reports on Deferral of Edenor Dealings

(Pampa Energía S.A., 31.Jul.2018) – Pampa Energía S.A. announced its electricity distribution subsidiary Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte (‘Edenor’) agreed with the Ministry of Energy to differ 50% of the Own Distribution Cost (‘CPD’) variation adjustment set forth under the Concession Agreement corresponding to the semester February-August 2018, to be charged in six consecutive monthly installments as from February 1, 2019, which does not imply either a negative economic impact for Edenor or any effect in the service’s quality parameters resulting from the Integral Tariff Review (‘RTI’) implemented on February 1, 2017.

Moreover, the Ministry of Energy agreed to carry out the necessary administrative actions towards the regularization of the pending obligations from the Transition Period, as well as to promote the settlement of pending issues related to the New Framework Agreement approved by Decree No. 1,972/2004 in regards to the consumption in shantytowns.

***

Trafigura Seeks to End Ricardo Eliçabe Conflict

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 28.Jul.2018) – Negotiations continue to advance to overcome a labor related conflict at the Ricardo Eliçabe refinery in Bahía Blanca.

The refinery, acquired last May by the Dutch group Trafigura, has been paralyzed for almost two months, reported the daily newspaper Clarin.

The labor conflict stems from a decision by Trafigura in early June of 2018 to no longer acquire crude for processing. The decision affects an estimated 200 workers.

Recently, in a move to prevent layoffs, the union of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Workers has started to accept offers related to voluntary departures and retirements.

“If we can confirm the list of workers who would leave the refinery and it’s accepted by the company, we would close the conflict,” reported the daily, citing union official Fabio Pierdominici.

***

Advantage Lithium Closes Financing

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 26.Jul.2018) – Advantage Lithium Corp. closes private placement.

In the process, the company issued 15,585,956 common shares for aggregate gross proceeds to Advantage Lithium of C$12,001,186.

Pursuant to an agency agreement, Advantage Lithium will pay a cash commission of 6% on a portion of the gross proceeds from the private placement to Jett Capital Advisors, LLC.

Additionally, Advantage Lithium announced that Orocobre Limited and an insider of the corporation have exercised participation rights to maintain pro rata ownership. Insiders have participated in this financing purchasing 15,176,956 shares for $11,686,256.

“We are pleased with the successful completion of this financing and the continued support from Orocobre and other existing shareholders,” reported Advantage Lithium in an official statement, citing its CEO & Director David Sidoo. “We have underpinned our shareholder base with the addition of a high-quality institutional investor. Advantage is now in a very strong cash position.”

***

Bolivia To Start Work on Transmission Line to Argentina

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 26.Jul.2018) – In two or three weeks, Bolivia expects to start work on an electrical transmission line that will allow it to export energy to Argentina.

The lines could be finished in 2019 and allow the small land-locked country to export between 80 and 120 megawatts of energy to Argentina, reported the daily newspaper La Razón.

Bolivia expects to have capacity to export 1,000 MW in about four years later or around 2023-2024.

***

Frontera Provides Notice of 2Q:18 Conference Call

(Frontera Energy Corporation, 19.Jul.2018) – Frontera Energy Corporation announces that its second quarter 2018 results will be released after market on Thursday, August 2, 2018 followed by a conference call and webcast for investors and analysts on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. (MDT), 9:00 a.m. (GMT-5) and 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Participants will include Gabriel de Alba, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Richard Herbert, Chief Executive Officer, David Dyck, Chief Financial Officer and select members of the senior management team.

A presentation will be available on the company’s website prior to the call, which can be accessed at www.fronteraenergy.ca.

Analysts and investors are invited to participate using the following dial-in numbers:

Participant Number (International/Local): (647) 427-7450
Participant Number (Toll free Colombia): 01-800-518-0661
Participant Number (Toll free North America): (888) 231-8191
Conference ID: 2755797

Webcast: www.fronteraenergy.ca

A replay of the conference call will be available until 10:59 p.m. (GMT-5) and 11:59 p.m. (EDT) Friday, August 17, 2018 and can be accessed using the following dial-in numbers:

Encore Toll Free Dial-in Number: 1-855-859-2056
Local Dial-in Number: (416)-849-0833
Encore ID: 2755797

***

Argentina Gas Auctions to Begin in August

(Reuters, 19.Jul.2018) – Argentina’s electricity generators will be able to begin bidding for their natural gas supply beginning in August, President Mauricio Macri said, as the country gradually moves away from controls on energy markets.

The change comes as rising output in the Vaca Muerta shale play moves the country closer to a gas surplus. An official said earlier this month that such auctions could account for as much as 70 percent of wholesale supply in March or April of 2019, as the government phases out the current fixed-contract system. (Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Sandra Maler)

***

Advantage Lithium Arranges $12 Mln Private Placement

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 18.Jul.2018) – Vancouver, British Columbia-based Advantage Lithium Corp. arranged a private placement of 15,585,000 common shares of Advantage Lithium at a price of $0.77 per Common Share for gross proceeds of $12,000,450.

“We are pleased to be adding prominent institutional investors to our shareholder registry and very encouraged to see Orocobre and other insiders supporting their pro-rata equity positions in Advantage,” said Advantage Lithium Corp. President, CEO & Director David Sidoo in an official company statement.

Subscribers have been identified to fill the placement. Proceeds from the placement will destined to cover general working capital and to fund continued development and exploration activities on its lithium properties in Argentina, the company announced in an official statement.

Common shares issued pursuant to the private placement will be subject to a four month hold period from the date of closing. The private placement remains subject to the approval of the TSXV.

Focused on developing its 75% owned Cauchari lithium project, located in Jujuy, Advantage Lithium Corp also owns 100% interest in three additional lithium exploration properties in Argentina: Antofalla, Incahuasi, and Guayatayoc.

Insiders

Advantage Lithium anticipates insiders of the corporation, including Orocobre Limited, will exercise participation rights in order to maintain their existing ownership interest in the company. In connection with the private placement, the insider also intends to arrange for the sale of up to 8,571,450 common shares, held by the insider prior to the closing of the private placement, through the facilities of the TSX Venture Exchange Inc., and to use 100% of the proceeds from the swap to participate in the private placement. The swap will allow Advantage Lithium to add key cornerstone institutional investors to the company’s register of shareholders, according to the statement.

***

YPF to Sell Bonds Ending 2-Mth Debt Drought

(Bloomberg, Pablo Rosendo Gonzalez, 18.Jul.2018) – Argentine’s state-controlled oil company YPF SA has asked banks to submit proposals for a bond sale in the second half of the year to fund an aggressive growth plan for its power unit.

YPF Energia Electrica SA will try to sell at least $500 million of bonds as it seeks to double its generation capacity by 2020, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plan, who asked not to be named as talks are private.

YPF declined to comment.

This is the latest step in the company’s plan to turn its power unit, which will be re-branded as YPF Luz in the coming days, into Argentina’s third-largest energy generator. In March, YPF sold a 24.99 percent stake in the business for $275 million to General Electric Co. Negotiations for a third partner — previously identified as Blackstone Group by people familiar — have so far failed to materialize.

YPF Chairman Miguel Angel Gutierrez said in June there were no active talks for another partner, though one could be brought in as YPF Luz grows, adding that a stock-market listing was also a possibility.

Business Plan

YPF Luz is looking to invest $2 billion in renewable and thermal projects through 2020. The company is currently the fifth-largest producer in Argentina, with 1,800 megawatts generation capability with 270 employees. The two largest generators are Central Puerto SA and Pampa Energia SA.

Once YPF Luz receives offers from banks, a debt sale may take place as soon as August, the people said. The company may seek to sell more than $500 million of bonds, two of the people said, adding that market conditions for Argentine companies right now make sales that large difficult.

“It’s good to be ready to issue, but going out right now doesn’t seem a good alternative for the company,” TPCG analyst Florencia Mayorga Torres said by phone. “I can imagine they will wait until at least the fourth quarter to sell, hoping the market sentiment regarding Argentina improves.”

Most Prolific

YPF is Argentina’s most prolific bond issuer, with 35 debt securities currently outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Its most actively traded bond, $1.5 billion of 8.5 percent senior unsecured notes maturing in 2025, yields around 8.9 percent after spiking to a high of 9.74 percent last month. With $1.2 billion in dollar-denominated bonds and other financing due in 2018, YPF may also have to come to market with another bond offering soon.

If YPF’s bond sale takes place, it may put an end to a company-debt drought that started after Transportadora de Gas del Sur SA sold $500 million of seven-year bonds to yield 6.8 percent on April 26. The drought has been so severe that Argentina’s biggest company, Telecom Argentina SA, has postponed a $1 billion bond sale four times on market volatility.

The increase in borrowing costs has also been a result of the decision by Argentina, Latin America’s third-largest market, to go to the International Monetary Fund to request a $50 billion credit facility to insure debt repayment. On June 13, the lender of last resort summarized its view on Argentina’s repay ability saying “the federal debt is sustainable but not with a high probability.”

***

FDI in LAC Region Falls for Third Straight Year

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 12.Jul.2018) – Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean fell for a third straight year in 2017, reported the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean or CEPAL by its Spanish acronym.

The details were revealed in CEPAL’s annual report titled “FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean 2018.”

***

Bolivia, Argentina to Meet Over Gas Volumes

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 12.Jul.2018) – The Bolivian government is still analyzing Argentina’s request to increase natural gas export volumes during the winter season and reduce them in summer.

Meetings between officials from Bolivia and Argentina are expected in coming weeks to discuss the proposals, reported the daily newspaper La Razón, citing Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) President Óscar Barriga.

***

Argentina Affirms Liberalization Of Fuels Market

(Institute of the Americas, Jeremy Martin, 11.Jul.2018) – Directly answering a question during an interview in a local media program about the issue of fuels market and pricing, newly-installed Energy Minister Javier Iguacel said: “There is no restriction. There is a free market.” The statement, on its face, does not appear to be overly dramatic, but it is quite important when considered against the backdrop of the last several weeks in Argentina.

In addition to the change at the top of the energy ministry, the government’s negotiations with the IMF, and a major transport strike at the end of June, the Macri administration had felt immense pressure to revise if not reverse several areas of its economic reform agenda that many economists and pundits argued were exacerbating the country’s inflation woes.

Nowhere was this more important than in the energy sector and the issues of tariff adjustments and the liberalization of the fuels market that went into effect at the end of 2017 but were thrown into some disarray when former Minister Aranguren signed a so-called stability pact with several fuel retailers to temporarily freeze fuel prices in an effort to alleviate inflationary pressure.

Indeed, the change of Aranguren for Iguacel was almost certainly a response to political and public relations pressure, but also in favor of new leadership that would again drive forward with Macri’s liberalization plans and objectives. This point was affirmed when, during the same interview, Minister Iguacel spoke very assuredly on how he intended to manage the fuel market challenge: “a policy of total interventionism, where two or three people set prices in a small room has generated many distortions.”

Minister Iguacel has also begun to reorganize key staff and officials in the Ministry of Energy, replacing in many instances holdovers from Aranguren’s tenure particularly those viewed as close to the former minister and part of some of the decisions in his final months with regards to market interventions.
The most notable change to-date has been Minister Iguacel’s bringing aboard Mario Dell’Acqua, the president of Aerolineas Argentinas, the state-run airline. Dell’Acqua will take over as the president of the government-run and ministry of energy-directed Integración Energética Argentina SA (IEASA). In simplistic terms, IEASA is the agglomeration of state energy enterprises that had been assembled under the previous Kirchner governments and nominally under the banner and state firm ENARSA. Dell’Acqua’s role at IEASA will be crucial in unwinding several state-owned energy assets, investments in transmission company Transener and managing bidding for new electric generation capacity, particularly for Buenos Aires.

Nor did Iguacel miss an opportunity to criticize the energy policies, manipulation and intervention in the sector by Macri’s predecessor forcefully noting, for what could be argued was the umpteenth time, that many of the market issues and challenges faced by Argentina were wrought by decisions, lack of decisions or worse, corruption, from the previous administrations.

But beyond those critiques, the more recent developments surrounding the lack of competition, or true liberalization of the market, has also reared its ugly head with regards to supply. In recent weeks certain retailers and fuel stations have been without supply and blame has been aimed at oil companies, the government’s policies, and the market. But it is precisely the latter, or insufficient development of the market that the Macri administration has long argued is the reason for any supply challenges for oil and gas and fuels in Argentina.

Meanwhile, the president of Argentina’s Confederation of Hydrocarbons Trade Entities, or CECHA, Carlos Gold took more direct aim and placed the supply and pricing challenges at the feet of local oil companies who, he argued, have distorted the market by placing a quota on fuel delivery and when the quota is exceeded there is a price differential.

Since taking over the reorganized Ministry of Energy last month, Minister Iguacel has begun to patiently assemble his vision for managing the energy ministry and by extension the energy policy outlook for Argentina under President Macri. The latest statements and very clear indications with regards to the debate swirling around the fuels market underscore that the Macri government remains committed to its energy reform agenda. Moreover, the pressure from inflation, demands and criticisms from friends and foes to perhaps slow down the reform process will not cause a reversal at this point.

***

Pampa Reaches 35-Year Deal in Sierra Chata Block

(Pampa Energía S.A., 10.Jul.2018) – Pampa Energía S.A. announced an Investment Agreement was executed with the Neuquén province, which will grant a new 35-year concession for unconventional hydrocarbon exploitation at the Sierra Chata block (the ‘Block’), aiming at the development of unconventional shale and tight gas in the Vaca Muerta and the Mulichinco formations, respectively.

The Block is located 93 miles northwest of Neuquén city and accounts an area of 213 thousand acres. Currently, the Block produces natural gas from the Mulichinco formation (compact sands or tight gas), with 69 productive wells and 45 million cubic feet of daily net production. Pampa is the operator of the Block and holds 45.6% stake, jointly with Mobil Argentina S.A. and Total Austral S.A. Argentina Branch, with a participation of 51.0% and 3.4%, respectively (the ‘Consortium’).

In consideration for obtaining the new concession, the Consortium committed to make an investment in the Block for an amount of $520 million during the next 5 years (of which Pampa will contribute the corresponding amount according to its share participation), with the objective to continue developing the Mulichinco formation and explore the potential of the Vaca Muerta formation. Moreover, the Consortium disbursed an exploitation bond and a contribution to corporate social responsibility for US$30 million.

***

Echo Says Completes Drilling CSo-2001(d) Well

(Echo Energy plc, 9.Jul.2018) – Echo Energy plc successfully completed drilling of the CSo-2001(d) well in which a notable gas column has been interpreted from the wireline logging suite.

The CSo-2001(d) well, located in the Fracción D licence operated by Compañia General de Combustibles S.A. (CGC), reached a total depth of 1511m in the Upper Jurassic Tobifera formation across which extensive gas and light hydrocarbon shows were recorded.

The well encountered over 60m of gas shows through the Upper Tobífera with gas peaks of over 168,000ppm and a full distribution of C1 to C5 hydrocarbons, measured with reference to background gas levels of less than 2,500ppm outside of the zone of interest.

Preliminary wireline log evaluation has now been completed from which the initial interpretations indicate around 30m of potential net pay within the section between 1272m and 1304m. This is towards the upper end of the range used in both contingent and prospective resource estimations and the interpretations are indicative of a gas with a high condensate gas ratio (wet gas).

The CSo-2001(d) well is targeting 19.0 bcf (gross best case) contingent resources assigned to the prospect in addition to a further 18.7 bcf (gross best case) of prospective resources in the recent Competent Person’s Report (CPR) produced by Gaffney Cline & Associates.

A final production casing is now being run prior to completion and testing which will now take place within the testing programme with the Quintana 01 rig, mobilising to the joint operations area during the week commencing 8 July 2018, as previously advised.

The CSo-2001(d) well is the last well in the current joint drilling campaign, and the Petreven H-205 rig will now demobilise to other areas where CGC have sole drilling operations ongoing.

The company will update shareholders with progress on both the testing and workover activities as the programme advances.

Fiona MacAulay, Chief Executive Officer of Echo, commented: “I am delighted that the our fourth well in the current drilling campaign has again successfully interpreted a notable gas column in the Tobifera. With the Quintana 01 completion and testing rig mobilising to the area this week we will be able to test this interval within the forthcoming testing sequence, enabling an early decision to be made on monetisation options in Fracción D. We are now looking forward to commencement of testing on the ELM 1004 well which will be the first well to be tested in this programme.”

***

Echo Announces Mobilization of Well Testing

(Echo Energy plc, 6.Jul.2018) – Echo Energy plc announces mobilisation of the Quintana 01 testing / completion rig to the Fracción C, Fracción D and LLC assets (onshore Argentina and operated by Compañia General de Combustibles S.A. (CGC) in joint venture with Echo) is scheduled to commence during the week commencing 8 July 2018.

Mobilisation is anticipated to take approximately 5 days and the rig will be moving firstly to the ELM-1004 well, which was suspended for testing in May 2018. Testing of ELM-1004 is anticipated to take 2-3 weeks, following which the rig will move on to test the remaining three wells in the current four well exploration programme.

The company is yet to determine the order in which the remaining three wells will be tested as the test design for the recent EMS-1001 well, which will include the running of cased hole logs prior to testing, is currently being prepared in conjunction with external experts to optimise the data evaluation. As a result, the position of the EMS-1001 well test within the overall testing programme is yet to be determined and is dependent on finalisation of that design.

Additionally, and whilst the rig is on contract, the company and CGC are considering the completion of a number of additional well interventions and workovers both in Estancia La Maggie (within Fracción C) and Fracción D to either restore or increase well productivity from existing wells.

The company will update shareholders with progress on both the testing and workover activities as the programme advances.

***

PentaNova, YPF Discuss Llancanelo Issues

(PentaNova Energy Corp., 3.Jul.2018) – PentaNova has been attempting to negotiate a payment plan for cash call balances with YPF without success to date.

As part of the various Argentina acquisitions completed by PentaNova in August and October 2017 relating to the Llancanelo heavy oil asset, the company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Alianza Petrolera Argentina SA (Alianza) initially acquired a 39% working interest in the Llancanelo block, and assumed cash call balances owed to YPF, and in November 2017, the company farmed-in to acquire an additional 11% working interest from YPF, subject to regulatory and administrative approvals and to the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions.

The company recently received formal notification from YPF advising that, under the terms of the governing agreement of the Llancanelo joint venture project, oil production pertaining to the company’s participating interest in the concession will be retained by YPF, with sales of such oil production, net of operating costs, being credited towards PentaNova’s outstanding cash call balances. Furthermore, the governing agreement of the Llancancelo joint venture states that a failure to pay the outstanding cash call balance may result in the defaulting party losing it’s working interest. The company is currently holding discussions with YPF in order to find a solution to retain the 39% working interest in addition to exploring financing options to cover the cash call balance. YPF is the operator of the Llancancelo concession.

In relation to the Farm-in agreement, Alianza has not been able to satisfy certain conditions precedent, including securing financing for its farm-in obligations and obtaining regulatory and administrative approval before the longstop date of June 22, 2018, and is consequently engaged in discussions with YPF.

***

Free Oil Market to Reign in Argentina

(Bloomberg, 2.Jul.2018) – Argentina’s move to a free market for energy prices remains on track.

A recent decision to cap crude oil prices and limit fuel price gains in order to stem inflation was an outlier, according to Javier Iguacel, the nation’s new energy minister. Restricting crude price increases only extinguishes competition and, in turn, the possibility of cutting costs, he said.

“There’ll be no more agreements,” Iguacel said in an interview. “It’s a free market. Companies can set the fuel prices they consider best for business. And they shouldn’t expect a lower domestic oil barrel either.”

Investors had become jittery because of the agreement from May to July, which capped oil at $68/bbl this month and constrained fuel price hikes in a bid to shield Argentines from a peso devaluation and a rally in crude. Inflation is running at more than 25%. Argentina had moved to a free market in October after years of interventionism.

State-run YPF SA raised fuel prices at the weekend for July by more than was originally agreed with Iguacel’s predecessor, ex-Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive Juan Jose Aranguren. That demonstrates the free market already reigns, he said.

In a sign Argentina is committed to deepening its market shift, Iguacel confirmed the government will eliminate the role of a state intermediary in future power contracts, starting in September. Now, Compania Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Electrico SA — Cammesa for short — sets the prices power generators pay for fuel and natural gas, and sell electricity. But not for much longer.

“We’re going to get out of the current system,” Iguacel said. “Generators will buy direct from producers, and large-scale consumers and distributors will buy direct from generators.”

Completing the move to a deregulated power market will take up to 18 months. Companies will be able to use an auction process to procure the best prices.

In the utilities sector, however, plans to end most subsidies for natural gas and electricity consumption by the end of next year might extend into 2020, the International Monetary Fund’s deadline for the government to balance its books, Iguacel said.

President Mauricio Macri’s Cambiemos alliance will campaign for re-election in 2019 and the removal of subsidies has been unpopular.

***

Argentina to Free Retail Fuel Prices

(Reuters, Luc Cohen, 1.Jul.2018) – Argentina will allow fuel retailers to freely set pump prices starting in August, according to an Energy Ministry official familiar with the plan, a move that could encourage badly needed investment in the nation’s oil patch but risks worsening sky-high inflation and angering consumers.

Separately, the ministry is looking to set up an auction process for the natural-gas market that it hopes will lower prices, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The actions signal that President Mauricio Macri is moving ahead with free-market reforms to attract private investment to develop the nation’s abundant shale oil reserves, even as rising global oil prices and a precipitous weakening of the nation’s currency have led to pressure for more interventionist government policies.

The moves will also bring relief to the oil sector. Price controls have squeezed refiners’ margins, prompting one refinery to suspend operations.

Macri’s pro-business government freed fuel prices last year, part of its efforts to unwind state controls on Argentina’s economy. But his administration reversed course in May due to a rapid decline in the peso. The sudden depreciation rattled markets and prompted Argentina to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for emergency financing.

In May, the government reached a deal for a two-month freeze on pump prices with the three largest oil companies operating in Argentina: state-owned YPF, Shell, and BP’s Pan American Energy. It later set the price of domestic crude at $68, about $10 below the global Brent crude price, to mitigate the impact of freezing fuel prices on refiners’ margins.

By freeing pump prices, the government is betting that gas stations will limit price hikes to avoid losing customers, the official said, and that by freeing crude prices it would encourage more investment in domestic drilling, part of a long-term strategy to wean Argentina from petroleum imports.

“Price controls do not help with anything,” the official said.

The government and the oil companies agreed to loosen the freeze June 1, allowing for hikes of 5 percent in June and 3 percent in July. Macri’s administration had kept the industry guessing as to what it might do in August.

The earlier increases were unsatisfactory to oil industry players, three of whom complained privately to Reuters that the modest bumps did not come close to covering their increased costs.

Last month, global trader Trafigura announced it was suspending activities at its 30,500 barrel-per-day refinery in the port city of Bahia Blanca due to the “mismatch between fuel prices and production and import costs.”

An oil industry executive who spoke with Reuters recently expressed frustration with the bind.

“The adjustment that needs to be done is not 3 percent, it is 45 percent,” said the person, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

VACA MUERTA RAMP-UP

An end to retail price caps would likely infuriate Argentine consumers, who are already incensed at the government for the drop in the peso and inflation that is running at a 26.3 percent annual clip.

But Macri’s government has prioritized reviving the energy sector to shake Argentina’s dependence on imported oil and gas, and to put an end to market-distorting subsidies.

Argentina possesses the world’s second-largest reserves of shale natural gas and ranks No. 4 in reserves of shale oil, mostly in the Vaca Muerta fields in Patagonia. But it faces stiff competition to attract the billions in private investment needed to develop these resources. Oil production is languishing at multi-decade lows.

The picture is brighter with natural gas. Rising output in Vaca Muerta helped boost the country’s production by 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year, according to government data.

“We are beginning to have an abundance of gas in Argentina,” the Energy Ministry official said.

As a result, the ministry will create an auction process for wholesale customers to bid on the open market for their natural gas supplies during the low-demand summer months, the official said. The plan is to phase out the current fixed-contract system in a move the government hopes will lower prices.

The auctions could start in September or October, and could account for as much as 70 percent of wholesale supply by March or April of 2019, the official said.

Argentina is also expected to begin gas exports to Chile in the fourth quarter of this year, another result of rising Vaca Muerta output.

Argentina will still need to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet demand in winter months.

***

PentaNova Board Member Resigns

(PentaNova Energy Corp., 27.Jun.2018) – PentaNova Energy Corp. announced that Ms. Susannah Pierce, who joined the board in 2017, resigned from the company’s Board of Directors on June 21, 2018 due to increasing personal and professional commitments.

At the time of Ms. Pierce’s resignation, she served on the Board’s Audit Committee. Following her departure, the PentaNova Board of Directors consists of 8 members.

PentaNova has greatly benefited from Ms. Pierce’s contributions, drawing from her experience and success in the oil and gas industry. The company thanks her for her support and contributions and wishes her continued success in the future.

***

Oil Potential in Argentina’s Tobifera Formation

(Energy Analytics Institute, Jared Yamin, 26.Jun.2018) – Echo Energy plc announced a significant light oil column has been interpreted in its third well, onshore Argentina.

The EMS-1001 well, located in the Fraccíon C licence operated by Compañía General de Combustibles S.A. (CGC), reached a total depth of 2460m in the Upper Jurassic Tobifera formation across which significant gas and hydrocarbon shows were recorded.

Preliminary wireline log evaluation has now been completed, and a very significant hydrocarbon column has been interpreted between 1722m and 2220m in the Tobifera Formation. If hydrocarbon saturations across this section are confirmed, the preliminary evaluation might represent an interval of some 500m, which could significantly open up the play for the area.

“We are delighted that initial interpretation of our third well suggests a material and potentially transformational light oil column in the emerging Tobifera play of the basin, exceeding our high case expectations,” announced Echo Chief Executive Officer Fiona MacAulay in an official company statement. “We can already consider results for this well to date to be very encouraging from a volumetric and value perspective. Testing is the critical next step to establish the effectiveness and deliverabilty of the reservoir and we caution that any conclusions prior to test results would be premature.”

A final production casing is now being run prior to suspending the well for testing and the Company now anticipates the arrival of the test rig to the licences in July following completion of its current work programme elsewhere in the basin. The rig will now move to CSo-111(I), the fourth well in this current exploration campaign, located on the Company’s Fraccíon D asset.

Following the potentially material scale of the results of this third well, the company (together with its partner) is now undergoing a review of the testing and forward work programme.

Echo will now take the time required to confirm the early interpretation of the wireline logs and design an effective test program with a view to confirming the scale of our new oil discovery.

Tobifera Information

In the Tobifera interval over 120m of hydrocarbon shows and elevated gas of C1-C5 composition were recorded with gas peaks of over 50,000 ppm, as measured against referenced background gas levels of 3000-6000 ppm outside of the zone. The shows, gas readings and associated lithology encountered in the Tobifera led the company to deepen the well by a further 210m compared to the planned total depth in two additional tranches.

Not all of the column interpreted will produce hydrocarbons, with intervals of effective pay interpreted as being associated with the very elevated gas readings recorded over some 120m of the section. These are likely to correspond to zones of natural fractures in the formation, with additional potential from the interpreted hydrocarbon column likely to require fracture stimulation as is employed elsewhere in the Austral Basin. Initial assessment of the fluid type is a light oil based on pressure data, and results are very encouraging, but the company notes caution should be applied prior to testing of the well.

In the shallower Springhill target, the well encountered over 20m of hydrocarbon shows. The shows in the Springhill target were associated with elevated gas with peaks of over 137,000 ppm, as measured against referenced background gas levels of less than 7,000 ppm outside of the zone and the company is currently evaluating the effective net pay across the Springhill section encountered.

It should be noted that Pre-drill Pmean gross prospective unrisked oil initially in place for the structure targeted by EMS-1001 were estimated at approximately 60 MMbbls for the Springhill Formation,  (included in the recent Competent Person’s Report produced by Gaffney Cline & Associates). No resources were quoted for the Tobifera target as these were not evaluated or audited as part of the CPR process.

***

Argentina Gears Up For Offshore Licensing Round

(E&Pmag, Brunno Braga, 25.Jun.2018) — Argentina is working to increase its attractiveness in the energy sector in a region where other countries such as Brazil, Guyana and Mexico have lured investment from major oil companies.

The South American country is about to launch its first round of offshore licensing after nearly three decades. Argentina’s Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren recently told investors during an event in Houston that the goal is to expand exploration for long-term production growth in what is considered one of the world’s practically unexplored offshore areas.

Argentina plans to launch the licensing round in July when officials will also announce when bids will be awarded. Expectations are that the auction, which will cover roughly 240,000 sq km in three areas, will be held by the end of the year.

The areas include:

— 5,000 sq km in the Austral Basin, the southernmost basin in the country;

— Roughly 80,000 sq km in the western Malvinas Basin; and

— 170,000 sq km in Plataforma del Norte Argentino.

Due to the greater risks associated with offshore drilling, the licensing contract will grant 10 years for exploratory activities.

“The round offers risky but attractive frontier exploration acreage. An oil system has been proved in shallow waters with over 100 offshore wells drilled to date,” said Horacio Cuenca, research director, upstream Latin America, for Wood Mackenzie. “The majors and independent explorers will be attracted by the large block size, competitive fiscal regime and low upfront entry cost. We expect the majority of the blocks to receive bids.”

In the short term the round will have a limited impact on the oil industry and the wider economy despite Argentina’s need to expand its oil and gas industry, according to Cuenca. Yet, he believes the round will enlarge the footprint of majors and bring back focus to the offshore after years of little activity. “Only in the medium term, if significant commercial discoveries are made, it would have the potential to significantly change the upstream landscape of the country.

The oil and gas regulatory framework in Argentina can be seen as an advantage for oil companies that want to do business in the country. As Reuters reported recently,  oil firms, including Norway’s Equinor, U.S.’ Anadarko Petroleum Corp., China’s CNOOC and Malaysia’s Petronas, have shown interest in Argentina’s auction, indicating that offshore areas in the region could be on the verge of expanded E&P activities.

But Cuenca asserted that some of the offshore specific terms will need updating.

“There are some questions remaining around unitization. But the government designed the contractual and fiscal regimes with the high level of competition for investment in mind,” he said. “Companies’ exploration budgets have been halved, on average, from their highest levels in 2014. And countries and governments are competing for that reduced investment, so only the most attractive terms will drive exploration investment.”

Attractiveness

The fact that Brazil has been successful in attracting investments in the offshore segment does not pose a threat to Argentina’s ambitions to create opportunities off its coast, according to Cuenca.

“It is not possible to do a direct comparison between discovered resources (fields) with exploration potential,” he said. “Brazil has very mature areas and proven basins like the Campos and Santos basins, and other untested basins with frontier exploration potential (like Pelotas) similar to the ones on offer in the Argentina bid round.”

He said that attractiveness, in the end, depends on the type of company. “Some companies are looking to grow their portfolios through high-impact exploration, and to them Argentina’s offshore acreage presents an attractive opportunity given the size of the blocks and the low cost of entry.”

In addition, Argentina is home to the Vaca Muerta shale play, one of the largest and most prospective onshore fields in the world, and its players could be drawn to the country’s offshore segment, according to Cuenca.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Argentina’s Vaca Muerta makes up about 60% of the country’s 27 billion barrels of technically recoverable shale oil reserves, making it the fourth largest shale oil reserve in the world.

Majors such as Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, BP and Wintershall are making larges investments in the area seeking to take advantage of Vaca Muerta’s giant resources.

“It has definitely been an advantage for the country to have most of the majors already present in the Vaca Muerta play,” he said. “The offshore and unconventional play offerings are complementary offerings for the majors. With the companies already present in country, they can go after both opportunities with the same overhead and established operational base.”

***

#LatAmNRG

Macri’s Reverse Unnerves Shale Investors

(Financial Times, Benedict Mander, 25.Jun.2018) – The collapse of the Argentine peso and the government’s struggle to tackle soaring inflation are causing disquiet among companies developing Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s largest deposits of shale oil and gas.

In his drive to liberalise Argentina’s energy markets, President Mauricio Macri phased out consumer subsidies and increased tariffs. Local oil prices rose and late last year converged with those of international crude, providing an important stimulus for companies in Vaca Muerta, Argentina’s star investment attraction.

But the government has now capped the price at which companies producing oil in Argentina can sell to refineries, along with the price of petrol at the pump, to shield consumers from rising global oil prices and prevent inflation soaring even further.

Companies now must sell at prices considerably below the international level, which on Thursday was above $77 a barrel for Brent crude, the global benchmark. This, as well as the devaluation of the peso, is hitting profitability and forcing companies to reassess their plans in Vaca Muerta.

“Suddenly from moving in the right direction, it feels like the country is taking a step back,” said Anuj Sharma, chief executive of Phoenix Global Resources, a mid-sized oil company investing in Vaca Muerta. “If there’s one thing markets hate, it is uncertainty. It makes planning very difficult.” He added that it was hard to plan more than 3-5 months ahead.

As little as four years ago, the state oil company YPF estimated that the break-even oil price for wells in Vaca Muerta to be economically viable was about $80 a barrel. Wood Mackenzie, the energy consultants, now estimates the break-even price to be $56 a barrel. After the first well began producing commercially in 2013, Vaca Muerta is now producing 120,000 barrels a day, or more than 10 per cent of national production.

“Just 5 years ago Vaca Muerta was a dream. Now it is starting to become a reality. It is at an inflection point where you can actually make money drilling it,” said one senior executive whose company is investing in Vaca Muerta.

“You can argue that at $67-68 a barrel you can make more than the break-even price, but you are not obliged to drill Vaca Muerta. Elsewhere you get 75 or even higher if oil prices go up . . . if there’s no [price] visibility, it’s very hard to deploy billions into Vaca Muerta.”

With Javier Iguacel replacing Juan José Aranguren as energy minister as part of a shake-up last week, the government’s plans remain unclear. Mr Aranguren, a former executive at Royal Dutch Shell, was widely applauded by the private sector for increasing the tariffs that consumers pay for electricity and natural gas, which enabled the government to cut subsidies in its effort to rein in the fiscal deficit. But he is unpopular with voters.

How Mr Iguacel, a petroleum engineer who also has a private sector background, proceeds depends on a precarious political scenario for Mr Macri, who is seeking re-election next year. Tariff hikes — as well as a $50bn bailout from the IMF in response to the currency crisis — was one of the main motives for trade unions on Monday holding their third national strike since Mr Macri took power.

Freezing prices at petrol pumps may go some way to keeping voters happy, even if it is debatable what impact it might have on inflation, which is running at more than 25 per cent annually. But international companies are not keen on effectively financing Mr Macri’s “gradualist” economic reform programme, which seeks to cushion the impact of austerity on poorer Argentines.

“If prices remain uncoupled, that would be negative. Without doubt, investment would fall, production too, and we would have to import more,” said Daniel Gerold, an energy consultant in Buenos Aires. “If it becomes clear that prices do not follow clear rules or the law is not respected, even if costs are low in Vaca Muerta, investments are not going to come.”

Nevertheless, analysts are broadly optimistic about the prospects for Vaca Muerta, which has seen a sharp fall in costs in recent years, while production has jumped dramatically. Argentina might even have an oversupply of natural gas this summer, when demand is lower, said Amanda Kupchella, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

“There are a lot of things that just come with the territory in Argentina — like price controls, working with unions and so on. They are things that operators are used to dealing with,” said Ms Kupchella. “Productivity in Vaca Muerta is so good that it doesn’t seem to be keeping [investors] away . . . wells just seem to be getting better and better.”

Alejandro Bulgheroni, chairman of Pan American Energy Group, expects that in 2-3 years it will be as cheap to drill wells in Vaca Muerta as it is in the US.

“Let’s hope this is resolved and that we return to international prices,” said Mr Bulgheroni. Although it was a “difficult moment”, he recognised that under this government, negotiations had always ended in mutual agreements, with no impositions. “We have lived through much worse times.”

***

Argentine Minister, Gas Distributors Hold Meetings

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 24.Jun.2018) – Argentina’s recently appointed Energy Minister Javier Iguacel conducted meetings with executives from gas distributors and transporters in the Southern Cone country to discuss some important issues.

The meetings come at a crucial time as many companies in the Argentine gas sector face problems related to the rising dollar as well as rising commodity prices. Additionally, the devaluation of the Argentine peso has resulted in higher prices for consumers just as the winter commences, reported the daily La Nacion.

The meetings where aimed to address these issues, among others, and perhaps establish a pricing formula that doesn’t boost consumer prices or result in an increase in energy subsidies.
***

Newsan, Vestas to Invest in Wind Turbines

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 24.Jun.2018) – Newsan Group and Vestas have earmarked investments of $22.4 million in Argentina.

Newsan Group, an Argentina producer of domestic appliances and the country’s largest shrimp exporter, and Danish giant Vestas, plan the investments to manufacture wind turbines and the gondolas that house them at the Campana plant in Buenos Aires.

Vestas, the largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world, will contribute $17.4 million of the investment total while Newsan will contribute the remaining $5 million, reported the daily La Nacion.

The project is estimated to create 200 direct and another 500 indirect jobs.
***

China Generates Energy, Controversy in Argentina

(Inter Press Service, Daniel Gutman, 22.Jun.2018) – As in other Latin American countries, in recent years China has been a strong investor in Argentina. The environmental impact and economic benefits of this phenomenon, however, are a subject of discussion among local stakeholders.

One of the key areas is energy. A study by the non-governmental Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN) states that China has mainly been financing hydroelectric, nuclear and hydrocarbon projects.

Just four per cent of these investments are in renewable energies, which is precisely the sector where the country is clearly lagging.

“China’s main objective is to export its technology and inputs. And it has highly developed hydraulic, nuclear and oil sectors. There are no more rivers in China where dams can be built and this is why they are so interested in the dams on the Santa Cruz River,” María Marta Di Paola, FARN’s director of research, told IPS.

China is behind a controversial project to build two giant dams in Patagonia, on the Santa Cruz River, which was approved during the administration of Cristina Kirchner (2007-2015) and ratified by President Mauricio Macri, despite strong environmental concerns.

The dams would cost some five billion dollars, with a foreseen a capacity of 1,310 MW.

However, expert Gustavo Girado said that it is not China that refuses to get involved in renewable energy projects, but Argentina that has not yet made a firm commitment to the energy transition towards clean and unconventional renewable sources.

“Like any country with a lot of capital, China is interested in all possible businesses and takes what it is offered. In fact, in Argentina it also has a high level of participation in the RenovAr Plan,” explained Girado, an economist and director of a postgraduate course on contemporary China at the public National University of Lanús, based in Buenos Aires.

He was referring to the initiative launched by the Argentine government to develop renewable energies and revert the current scenario, in which fossil fuels account for 87 per cent of the country’s primary energy mix.

Also participating in this industry are Chinese companies, which during the period January-September 2017 produced 25 per cent of the total oil and 14 per cent of the natural gas extracted in the country.

Since 2016, the Ministry of Energy has signed 147 contracts for renewable energy projects that would contribute a total of 4,466 MW to the electric grid, most of them involving solar and wind power, which are currently under development.

The goal is to comply with the law enacted in 2015, which establishes that by 2025 renewables must contribute at least 20 per cent of the capacity of the electric grid, which today is around 30,000 MW.
***

Argentina Resurrects Oil Intervention Panic

(Bloomberg, Jonathan Gilbert, 22. Jun.2018) – Javier Iguacel has left the road for the oilfield, and that may mean a complete about-face on Argentine energy policies.

Iguacel, who’d led Argentina’s national road agency since January 2016, was sworn in Thursday as the nation’s energy minister at a time when his predecessor’s push to sell fuel and oil at market prices is colliding with rising inflation.

Analysts expect Iguacel to quickly cap Argentine crude prices and limit fuel rises. He may also slow a move toward market rates for electricity and natural gas bills, a policy that’s been unpopular among voters.

“Clearly, the liberalization of the oil market did not work,” Juan Manuel Vazquez, head of equity and credit research at Puente Hnos. SA in Buenos Aires, said in a note. “We expect the government to keep intervening through a combination of capped prices for upstreamers, limits to crude exports, and controlled price increases at the pump.”

Juan Jose Aranguren, a former executive at Royal Dutch Shell Plc who’d served as energy minister since President Mauricio Macri took office in December 2015, was replaced last week in a cabinet overhaul as the country grapples with a financial crisis.

Short-lived

The crusader for free oil and fuel markets shifted Argentina to full de-regulation in the last quarter of 2017 after a slow convergence between domestically controlled and international prices. But the recent oil rally and devaluation of the peso forced him to temporarily re-introduce controls in May to help Macri’s battle against inflation, which is running at more than 20%.

Still, Aranguren, who operated outside Macri’s closest circle of advisers, was resisting prolonged intervention, newspaper Clarin reported. “The rest of the economic team felt he was not a real team-player and was also seen radical in his attempt to liberalize the sector,” said Daniel Kerner, Latin America director at Eurasia Group.

Iguacel — who began his career at state-run driller YPF SA before roles at oil service provider Pecom Servicios Energia SA and, in Angola, at Pluspetrol SA — is expected to bow to Macri’s need to intervene heavily in the prices of crude and fuel. He preferred not to give interviews until he’s been in the job for longer.

“Our goal is that what Argentines pay for electricity, natural gas and fuel weighs less and less on their pockets,” Iguacel said after his swearing in ceremony.

Negative sentiment

The re-introduction of price controls and the removal of Aranguren have added to negative sentiment toward Argentina’s oil sector and YPF, Goldman Sachs analysts led by Bruno Pascon wrote in a research note.

Iguacel is also predicted to slow the pace at which the government moves to market rates for electricity and natural gas bills. Argentina needs to shift away from subsidizing energy consumption to close its fiscal deficit, especially with added pressure from the IMF.

While Aranguren was unwavering in his execution of the policy, analysts expect Iguacel to pause the shift as inflation and keeping voters content take priority. But if the cost-cutting government can’t bear the subsidies burden, who will? Companies, says Eurasia’s Kerner.
***

Argentina Inaugurates Energy, Production Ministers

(Xinhua, 22.Jun.2018) – Argentinian President Mauricio Macri oversaw the inaugurations of Energy Minister Javier Iguacel and Production Minister Dante Sica on Thursday during a ceremony at the government’s headquarters.

Macri expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Energy Minister, Juan Aranguren and outgoing Production Minister, Francisco Cabrera, for the “important contributions” they made throughout their terms in office.

New Energy Minister, Javier Iguacel, is a former petroleum engineer and until last week was in charge of Argentina’s National Road Network (DNV).
In a press statement released shortly after his inauguration, Igaucel said that the objective of his role would be to “reduce energy costs for Argentinians and allow small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to grow.”

New Production Minister Dante Sica is an economist and accountant with expertise in development, industrial politics and international negotiations.

After his swearing in, Sica told press that his greatest challenge would be to improve competitiveness and create a fully integrated economy.

He added that “special attention and focus will be given to SMEs, which are great generators of employment.”

Sica previously worked as a secretary overseeing industry, commerce and mining during the administration of former President Eduardo Duhalde.

Also present at the ceremony was the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers, Marcos Pena, and state ministers and secretaries from both chambers of Argentina’s National Congress.
***

Echo Energy Reports 2nd Price Extension

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 21.Jun.2018) – A second and final Price Monitoring Extension has been activated in this security.

The auction call period is extended in this security for a further 5 minutes, announced Echo Energy in an official statement.

“Following the first price monitoring extension this security would still have executed more than a pre-determined percentage above or below the price of the most recent automated execution today. London Stock Exchange electronic order book users have a final opportunity to review the prices and sizes of orders entered in this security prior to the auction execution,” reported Echo.

Echo added: “The applicable percentage is set by reference to a security’s Millennium Exchange sector. This is set out in the Sector Breakdown tab of the Parameters document at www.londonstockexchange.com/tradingservices. Additionally, this information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider.”

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Argentina to Replace Energy and Production Ministers

(Reuters, Maximilian Heath, 17.Jun.2018) – Argentina´s government said on Saturday that it would replace its energy and production ministers, just two days after the resignation of former Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger.

The shake-up follows several tumultuous weeks for the government of the center-right President Mauricio Macri, with extreme currency volatility leading Argentina to seek a politically contentious $50 billion lifeline from the International Monetary Fund.

The government said in a statement that Javier Iguacel, previously administrator general of the agency that oversees Argentina´s road network, would take the place of Juan José Aranguren as head of Argentina´s Energy Ministry.

Dante Sica, an economist and former secretary overseeing industry, commerce and mining under former President Eduardo Duhalde would replace Production Minister Francisco Cabrera.
Cabrera will move on to serve as President of Argentina´s Bank of Investment and International Trade (BICE), as well as advisor to President Mauricio Macri, the statement said.

Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger resigned on Thursday in a move aimed at restoring trust in the central bank and calming markets.

Argentina´s government also said on Saturday that the country´s top mining agency would now report to the Ministry of Production. It had previously been housed within the Energy Ministry, the statement said.
***

Rick Perry Wants Argentina be More Like Texas

(Bloomberg, 17.Jun.2018) – The U.S. government is getting in on a shale boom 5,000 mi (8,000 km) from home.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry will help Argentina connect with U.S. companies that have shale oil and gas expertise as President Mauricio Macri — facing a natural gas trade deficit — hurries to replicate the success of the Permian basin, in Perry’s home state of Texas.

Fostering energy production from a regional ally will bolster the geopolitical influence of the U.S., Perry told reporters in Bariloche, Argentina.

“One of the things that I offered Juan Jose is U.S. technology partnerships, to make the introductions with the private sector,” Perry said, referring to Juan Jose Aranguren, Macri’s energy minister. “The technology that has allowed for the shale gas revolution in America we want to make available to Argentina.”

Perry was meeting Aranguren and other G20 counterparts in snow-covered Bariloche to discuss a global transition to cleaner energy — especially gas. Argentina is ramping up production of the fuel in Vaca Muerta, the Patagonian shale play where Chevron Corp. and DowDuPont Inc. were among the first to get drilling going.

Argentina’s state-run YPF SA, the biggest operator in Vaca Muerta, sees the next phase of shale development driven by mid-cap independent companies lured from the Permian. Their arrival will increase competition and, in turn, slash costs, Aranguren told reporters in Bariloche.

Now, Perry wants to add to that, bringing in U.S. pipeline developers to expand the play’s infrastructure and petrochemical companies to process the hydrocarbons once they’ve been moved out of the isolated shale fields.

Boosting output in Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s largest shale plays that remains largely untapped, will help the U.S. to direct geopolitics amid fractious relationships with major oil producers Russia and Venezuela, Perry said.

“Being able to not be held hostage by countries who don’t share our values is really important,” Perry said. “President Macri’s policies are right in line with U.S. values.”

Perry will advise Argentina — already facing transportation bottlenecks as YPF and billionaire Paolo Rocca’s Tecpetrol SA spur gas production — on avoiding pipeline capacity issues that have begun to plague the Permian, he said.

Transportadora de Gas del Sur SA recently announced it will build a $300-million gas pipeline in Vaca Muerta.

Perry will visit Vaca Muerta in the near future, Aranguren said.
***

ENAP to Invest $354 Mln in Project in Argentina

ENAP’s AM3 platform. Source: ENAP

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 15.Jun.2018) – Chile’s ENAP plans investments of $354 million in a project located in the eastern mouth of the Strait of Magellan, on the Argentine side.

The company plans the investments in its Magallanes Area Incremental Project (PIAM) project, which has potential to substantially increase crude oil and natural gas production, ENAP reported in an official statement.

Despite severe weather conditions at sea in southern Argentina, the AM3 platform is already underway to produce 100% of the proposed volumes of oil and gas, becoming the last milestone of the PIAM of ENAP Sipetrol in that country.

With installation of the heliport, of approximately 60 tons, at 37 meters above sea level — the highest altitude of the expansion project was reached — the PIAM already has the entire infrastructure to start producing the incremental oil and gas in its entirety.

Natural gas production is expected to rise 60% to 4 million cubic meters per day (MMcm/d) from 2.4 MMcm/d, while associated oil production is expected to rise 43% to 1,000 cubic meters per day from 700 cubic meters per day currently.
***

G20 Energy Heads Gather in Argentina

(Xinhua, 14.Jun.2018) – Energy ministers from G20 countries met here on Thursday to discuss transitioning to renewable energy and other alternative green energy.

The gathering in Argentina’s southwestern city of Bariloche is part of the fourth ministerial meeting of the G20 group of developed and emerging economies, which Argentina currently chairs.

Ministers of energy and natural resources, as well as experts from international organizations such as OPEC and the OECD, are to discuss ways to promote energy efficiency, industry transparency and technology in the sector, as well as alternative sources of energy.

Argentine Energy and Mining Minister Juan Jose Aranguren, along with Canada’s minister of natural resources, James Gordon Carr, were to hold a press conference on the deliberations later in the day.

The G20 envoys were also scheduled to tour INVAP, Argentina’s state-run company specializing in designing and building equipment for nuclear, oil, chemical and aerospace industries.

A press conference is also scheduled after the meeting concludes Friday afternoon, with Aranguren, Thorsten Herdan, Germany’s director general of energy policy, and Yoji Muto, Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry.

The Group of 20 accounts for 77 percent of the world’s energy consumption and more than 80 percent of the world’s renewable energy capacity, as well as 85 percent of global GDP, two-thirds of the world’s population and 75 percent of global trade.
***

Argentina to Export Natural Gas to Chile by YE:18

(Reuters, Luc Cohen, 14.Jun.2018) – Argentina will begin exporting natural gas to neighboring Chile before the end of the year, the energy ministers of both countries said on Thursday, as output from the Vaca Muerta shale field rises.

The two South American countries had previously signed deals allowing for the export of gas or electricity in emergency situations, but required that an equivalent amount be re-imported within twelve months.

Chilean companies are in talks to sign import deals and the first flow of gas across the Andes could come in October or November of this year, Chile energy minister Susana Jimenez said in an interview in Bariloche, Argentina at the G20 Meeting of Energy Ministers.

“We see a great opportunity for mutual benefit,” she said, adding that the gas could come both from the Neuquen basin, home to Vaca Muerta, and from the Austral basin in southern Argentina.

The gas could be used for electricity generation, replacing imports from elsewhere, or to heat homes in areas where families still depend on wood, a source of pollution in the center-south region, Jimenez said. Chile produces little hydrocarbons of its own.

The unrestricted exports would mark a turning point in energy trade in the region. Argentina was once a major supplier of natural gas to Chile, but triggered a diplomatic crisis in the mid-2000s by cutting off shipments when its own supplies ran low.

Argentina sits atop the world’s No. 2 shale gas reserves but is still a net energy importer. Since taking office in December 2015, President Mauricio Macri has sought to loosen labor rules and boost infrastructure to attract investment.

Rising output from Vaca Muerta could help the country export more than it imports by 2021, Argentina’s energy minister Juan Jose Aranguren said at a news conference. The country is set to import slightly more than 50 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year, down from 68 last year and 90 in 2015.

Argentina still needs the LNG imports to meet peak winter demand, but in the southern hemisphere summer months it could see a surplus, Aranguren said.

“This summer we will start to sign permits for exporting natural gas to Chile without any restrictions,” he said.
***

G20 Holds Energy Conference in Argentina

(Efe, 13.Jun.2018) – Energy sector representatives from the G20 countries are attending on Wednesday this year’s second meeting in Argentina to address the energy transition.

Access to electricity in Latin America and the Caribbean, access to information about the energy sector and the use of subsidies to promote new energy technologies are some of the topics that will be discussed during the meeting taking place in the Patagonian town of Bariloche, organizers said.

The first conference on the energy transition took place in Buenos Aires in February as part of the preparatory meetings for the G20 summit of heads of state and government, which will take place here in November.

Wednesday’s meeting between government officials and invited guests from the member countries takes place one day before the G20 energy ministers summit.

“This meeting will allow us to discuss some topics that are crucial to reach a common position between the G20 countries,” the secretary of Energy Planning of the Argentine Ministry of Energy, Daniel Redondo, said during the opening ceremony.

According to the G20, one of the main objectives of tomorrow’s summit is to “diversify the economy and strengthen energy security until it becomes possible to improve air quality and mitigate climate change.”
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Pampa Reaches 35-Year Extension in El Mangrullo Block

(Pampa Energía S.A., 5.Jun.2018) – Pampa Energía S.A. was granted a 35-year period extension to the operation of the El Mangrullo block for the development of unconventional gas (shale and tight), within the new exploitation license that Neuquén province granted to the Cutral Có and Plaza Huincul Inter-city Autonomous Body (‘ENIM’), which will come into force with the corresponding Provincial Order.

Currently, the El Mangrullo block is 100% developed by Pampa, is located in the mid-east of Neuquén province and accounts an area of 35,830 acres. Pampa produces natural gas from Mulichinco formation (compact sands or tight gas), with 41 productive wells and 97 million cubic feet per day. In consideration for the operation’s period extension, Pampa committed to disburse $205 million for a pilot investment plan during the next 5 years, with the objective to continue developing Mulichinco formation by drilling 15 wells, in addition to 1 well targeting Tordillo formation and explore the potential of Vaca Muerta formation (shale gas), by drilling 3 additional horizontal wells. Moreover, Pampa paid an exploitation bond and a contribution to corporate social responsibility that amounts to US$15.4 million.

***

Pampa Energía Inaugurates 1st Wind Farm

(Pampa Energía S.A., 24.May.2018) – Pampa Energía S.A. inaugurated its first Wind Farm named Engineer Mario Cebreiro (‘PEMC’), which given the technology and size, it is also the first project to reach such milestone under Renovar 1 program.

The opening counted on the presence of President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, the Minister of Energy and Mining (‘MEyM’) Juan José Aranguren, the mayor of Bahía Blanca Héctor Gay, as well as all Pampa’s management, among other authorities and special guests.

The PEMC project consisted in the building and installation of 29 Vestas wind generators, with 87 meters of altitude and three spades with a diameter of 126 meters driving the turbine, all located at Corti, 20 km away from Bahía Blanca city, in the province of Buenos Aires. The PEMC will contribute to the national grid 100 MW of renewable energy and required a total investment of $139 million. It is worth highlighting that the launching of PEMC was achieved before the originally estimated dates.

Moreover, under MEyM Resolution No. 281-E/2017, which regulates the Term Market for Renewable Energy (‘MAT ER’), the Company was granted by CAMMESA the dispatch priority for three new projects, which production will be destined to fulfill large electricity consumption users through private power purchase agreements. Two out of the three projects, Pampa Energía II Wind Farm (‘PEPE II’) and Pampa Energía III Wind Farm (‘PEPE III’) each 53 MW of installed capacity, already began construction stage and the Company estimates its commissioning by second quarter of next year, requesting approximately US$135 million of investment. PEPE II is located nearby PEMC, and PEPE III is placed in Coronel Rosales, 25 km away from Bahía Blanca city. The third project will be Pampa Energía IV Wind Farm (‘PEPE IV’), located at Las Armas area, Maipú, Province of Buenos Aires. PEPE IV will additionally contribute 50 MW of gross capacity through estimated $74 million of investment and commissioning by fourth quarter of 2019.

The 156 MW under construction, in addition to the newly inaugurated PEMC, adds up as of today 256 MW of renewable sources developed in Pampa. Moreover, with this new operating addition Pampa has 11 power plants, 3.9 GW of current installed capacity, but totaling 4.4 GW of capacity once all 554 MW of committed expansion projects begin operations.

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Energy, Education, and Learning Through NRG ED

(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 24.May.2018) – Energy Analytics Institute, formerly LatinPetroleum Inc., continues to promote its “Energy Education Initiative” in the Americas, also known as “NRG ED.”

NRG ED is structured to work with K-12 schools, community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, workforce training programs, communities and businesses, and aims to promote reduction of non-renewable energy usage in favor of renewable energies. However, the core of the initiative is education, without which the NRG ED initiative would not be.

“At its core the initiative is really focused on education,” said Chad Archey, Editor-in-Chief at Energy Analytics Institute from Atlanta, Georgia.

EAI views basic education as most important in the overall learning process and also promotes educational initiatives and research from grade school to the professional level related to the energy sector. EAI aims to foment constructive dialogue regarding energy usage as well as ways to reduce the carbon footprint left by non-renewable energy resources through the following: 1) educational consultancy, 2) development and distribution of educational and training materials, and 3) promotion of debate and discussion regarding renewable energy alternatives.

Energy Analytics Institute (EAI), formerly LatinPetroleum Inc. (dba LatinPetroleum.com), is a Houston-based independent company focused on producing non-biased news, updates and special reports for investors interested in the Latin America and Caribbean petroleum sectors.
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