Dollar-strapped Argentina announces incentives for oil and gas industry

By Thomson Reuters Aug 13, 2022 | 11:15 AM

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina announced late on Friday a package of tax and customs benefits for the oil and gas industry meant to attract dollars to the South American nation, which is battling crippling inflation and a low level of foreign currency reserves.

The measures had been announced on Thursday – and follow other incentives for the agribusiness and tourism sectors also meant to attract dollars – and were formalized on Friday by new Economy Minister Sergio Massa.

The measures will benefit only companies that invest a minimum of $50 million.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has long sought to attract new investments to the country’s huge Vaca Muerta shale formation, one of the world’s most important for unconventional hydrocarbons.

Developing Vaca Muerta could make Argentina a net exporter of oil and gas, bringing in badly needed dollars into the economy.

Under Fernandez, the country has imposed rigid currency controls that have failed to abate inflation, expected to hit 90% this year.

(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; editing by Diane Craft)