The Energy Report: How is the news that Argentina holds the fourth-largest shale oil reserve in the world affecting business plans for companies that operate there?
Bill Newman: The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that was released in June 2013 showed that Argentina has a technically recoverable shale oil resource of 27 billion barrels, so it reaffirms the large potential of Argentina. Although the shales plays are in an early stage of appraisal, we don't believe the potential of the shale is the key issue for oil and gas companies investing in Argentina. The political risk is still the chief concern. However, this year the government started to move away from its nationalist policies, so we think the political climate is slowly improving.
TER: When we talked last year, Argentina had recently expropriated the assets of Yacimientos Petrolferos Fiscales (YPF:NYSE) (YPF) from Spain's Repsol (REP:MC) without compensation. And the government temporarily froze the Argentinean assets of Chevron Corp. (CVX:NYSE) in response to a $19 billion ($19B) judgment in Ecuador. Has the danger of nationalization of foreign owned oil and gas assets receded or increased? Continue reading "As Argentina Backpedals, Will Oil and Gas Companies Step on the Gas?"