Argentina and fracking

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According to the U.S. EIA, Argentina has the third highest amount of technically recoverable shale gas in the world, primarily in the Neuquén Basin.[1]

The Argentinian oil and gas company YPF is partnering with Apache Corporation, an American company that has about 1 million acres in shale leases in Argentina; in December 2010, Apache Corporation conducted the first multistage fracking of a horizontal shale gas well in Latin America.[2]

In addition to gas resources, the Neuquén Basin is expected to hold significant quantities of shale oil. Total, ExxonMobil and EOG Resources have each begun to invest in drilling in the area.[3] In May 2013 Chevron signed a deal with YPF to drill for tight oil, starting with a $1.5 billion investment that may reach $15 billion.[4]

In Argentina, either the national government or provincial governments own oil and gas rights.[5]

Environmental impacts


Shale development would place large demands on water resources in the Neuquén Basin region and could exacerbate existing environmental justice concerns about access to potable water in the Neuquén Province.[6]



  1. "EIA Background: Argentina," EIA, accessed April 2012.
  2. Webber, Jude, “Argentina poised for shale oil and gas boom,” Financial Times, December 12, 2011.
  3. Krauss, Clifford, “Argentina hopes for a big payoff in its shale oil field discovery,” New York Times. July 4, 2011.
  4. "Chevron says shale to help make Argentina energy independent," Fuel Fix, May 17, 2013.
  5. Fortunati, Roberto A. and Monica C. Lappas. “Chapter 4: Argentina.” In Global Legal Group (2011) at 20.
  6. "Fracking: The New Global Water Crisis," Food and Water Watch Report, March 2012.

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