grandma’s jewelry will still be underground

The crisis in the sector will slow down the development of formation oil, where investment cuts of 40 percent are already being analyzed.

Less than a year ago Dead cow it was postulated as the great promise for the country to generate foreign exchange. The companies calculated how this export jump could be and even set dates for the start of the light crude export.

But the successive crises that began in August last year, and were exacerbated by the mandatory quarantine, radically changed the scenario and now predict that the riches of these grandmother’s jewels will continue much longer underground.

The outlook for the short term is uncertain. Guillermo Pereyra, the head of Private Oil Tankers of Río Negro, Neuquén and La Pampa, summed it up well, saying that “we do not know how long it can last, whether it is a month, six or a year.”

But from the companies a safe calculation is already made: if the end of the quarantine comes in a short time it will not imply that the activity will return to its level prior to March 20.

The country’s excess oil production not only led in recent weeks to the closure of numerous wells and fields, whether conventional or unconventional, but also implies that a mattress of several million barrels was formed, which will cause the reactivation of Those wells get even slower.

Estimates have been drawn from the companies, since the only certainty these days is the uncertainty. But in all cases they agree that at least six months will pass until oil activity can return to a pre-coronavirus level, a level that is even far from that in which export development was taking shape, according to Río Negro.

While in the conventional fields that are closed today the horizon marks that when they re-pump they will receive only water for a long time, in the shale fields some signs of the near future are already traced. But there are also coincidences between the companies in that the investment plans will be cut – and in practice they already are by quarantine – by up to 40% for this year.

The exploration of new blocks and even the pilots that were about to start will not advance this year. This implies, on the one hand, that the replacement of reserves will tend downwards in many, if not all, companies.

But at the same time, this closure until further notice of these areas will mean that many firms will concentrate their work on the blocks that are advancing today, in what is known as the “hot zone” of Dead cow to the detriment of other areas where the infrastructure is not yet fully developed, such as the northern area of ​​Vaca Muerta, in the vicinity of Rincón de los Sauces.

For the former Secretary of Hydrocarbons of the Nation, José Luis Sureda, “this crisis will delay one year Approximately oil developments and the speed of recovery will depend, among other things, on our ubiquitous macroeconomics. “

In dialogue with Energía On, Sureda added to the panorama that “we do not know if OPEC will be strengthened or not as a result of this crisis and therefore today there is no clarity on how prices will form after it. We also do not know if the State shale United will return with more discipline in cash flow or will be irresponsibly fed by Wall Street again. “

On the other side, in the segment of gas, in panorama it seems not to be so bad. Liquefaction plant projects are envisaged for longer terms than the current crisis and an eventual decision by the national government to move forward with the construction of the gas pipeline to Saliquelló could be the way out, not only to create construction jobs, but also gas developments .

Due to the macroeconomics and the national quasi-default, this week the country’s energy companies saw their bond ratings fall, predicting a very complex future to obtain the necessary financing to re-boost development.

But in turn, the economic crisis that is seen and expected for the country in the coming months promises to collapse the levels of energy consumption.

For Sureda, the only thing that can be contributed in the short term is greater macroeconomic stability and, fundamentally, stable rules of the game so that when new winds arrive, the Vaca Muerta jewels that are still underground can tempt investors again.

On Monday, the unions of Petroleros Privados de Río Negro, Neuquén and La Pampa, and Chubut, will sign the offer of the business chambers to contain the workers who have been in their homes since the beginning of their forties.

The agreement includes some 20,000 workers in the union led by Guillermo Pereyra and another 12,000 who depend on Jorge Ávila. In detail, the companies will pay these workers the basic salary of their category, plus the additional salary by area and the food that corresponded to each one, according to their latest schedule.

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