Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy Program, spoke about the production of natural gas in Argentina and the fuel’s role in the country’s energy transition on a panel organized by the Organization of American States’ Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas on December 13.
Argentina’s economic crisis and the fiscal belt-tightening it demands have led to gradual cuts to wholesale electricity and natural gas subsidies for consumers and a liberalization of energy prices over the course of Mauricio Macri’s administration. This has helped make Argentina more attractive as a destination for energy investment despite its economic tumult, said Argentine Secretary of Energy Gustavo Lopetegui at an event organized by the Inter-American Dialogue on March 14.
In an interview with Benjamin Gedan, director of the Wilson Center’s Argentina Project, Lisa Viscidi discusses the current conditions and outlook for three key components of the Argentine energy sector.
The government of Neuquén—Argentina’s top oil and gas producing province and home to the country’s huge shale play Vaca Muerta—is implementing a detailed plan to eliminate barriers to hydrocarbon development, Governor Omar Gutierrez said at an Inter-American Dialogue panel discussion. This includes facilitating equipment imports by removing customs tariffs, gradually eliminating consumer subsidies for natural gas, and signing a new labor agreement between the provincial government and labor unions.
Lisa Viscidi, Director of the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program, testified before the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on the subject of “Energy Opportunities in Latin America.”
The election of President Mauricio Macri may signal the start of a new era in Argentine energy policy and cooperation with the United States, but the new government still faces challenges to increasing oil and gas production and erasing energy subsidies.
As Latin American countries reassess their energy policies in light of lower oil prices, there is an opportunity to apply lessons learned from the US experience to enact regulations that mitigate environmental risks, strengthen public support, and attract investment.
What does China stand to gain from investing in Latin America’s energy projects? Where is China looking next in the region?
Argentina’s nascent shale industry is one of the most promising frontiers for unconventional oil and gas development outside of the US.