The government prepares a new stimulus program for gas production

The Ministry of Energy and Mining, directed by Juan José Aranguren, is eliminating the details of a new program of incentives for the production of gas. The initiative will be announced once that the new tariffs charts and wellhead prices are available, which is most likely to happen once the congress approves the payment to the holdouts. The stimulus program will allow companies to file projects to be evaluated by the Sub-secretariat of Exploration and Production, in charge of Marcos Porteau, which will authorize a differential price for gas. In practice, this will imply a direct subsidy from the State to the companies in order to encourage investments in complex deposits like in shale or tight gas.
The main difference with the previous Stimulus Program for Additional Gas Injection (known as Plan Gas) is that the latter only allowed the differential price when the offer was over certain agreed baseline, while in the new one they plan to make an analysis on a case by case basis. This means that companies do not have to negotiate with the government any particular baseline but rather that should focus in the details of the project (in most of the cases for unconventional production) that is being filed. The objective is to get to the prices that each company needs to develop each of the deposits of shale and tight gas. According to the Minister, the previous scheme leaded to large sums of subsidies that exceeded the capacity of the State. In fact, the government is planning to cancel a debt of US$ 1.700 million it has with certain companies due to the previous program (YPF, PAE, Total and Wintershall among others) by issuing bonds (Bonar 2018 and 2024).