Argentina suspends refining, exploration incentive program

03 February 2012 21:36  [Source: ICIS news]

BOGOTA (ICIS)--Argentina's government is suspending its "Oil and Refining Plus" programmes for large companies that had encouraged new investment in the exploration, production and refinement of hydrocarbons, the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services said in a statement on Friday.

Suspending the programmes will save the government Argentina pesos (ARS) 2bn ($462m, €351m) annually as it stops providing fiscal incentives to the companies, the ministry said.

The move affects Pan American Energy, YPF SA, Sinopec Group, Pluspetrol, Total SA, Enap Sipetrol, Petrobras, Occidental and Esso, the ministry said.

“This decision is based in the modifications of the market’s conditions in which these programmes were established in 2008,” the ministry said. “Projects in this period reached a significant level of progress, some of them finished, so the initial objectives have been met.”

Since 2008 the government has provided around ARS10bn in fiscal incentives to the firms, the ministry said.

In the refining sector, there were 14 projects with investments of $2bn, from which by 2015 will have expanded refining capacity by 16%.

The Oil and Refining Plus programmes were created in 2008 with the aim of encouraging exploration and exploitation of oil reserves and to increase fuel production by a system of tax incentives, according to the ministry.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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