Energy Minister Juan Jose aranguren is ready for international oil prices, which have been stuck in the US$50region, to rise.
That is why he announced this week that the country plans to auction offshore oil and gas rights next year.
The idea is to follow in the footsteps of Brazil, which last week attracted a record US$1.14 billion in its 14th round of bidding for exploration and production rights in the so-called pre-salt basins off the country’s atlantic coast.
“There is a high probability that the pre-salt basin that exists on the coast of Brazil continues south and so we see the discovery of any formation of oil and conventional gas in the area as very attractive. It could be very profitable for the country,” aranguren said at a press conference in Buenos aires on Thursday.
“You will ask, ‘at these prices?’” aranguren told reporters. “Yes, at these prices, because we want to be prepared when prices go up.”
Global oil and gas producers have focused on the Vaca Muerta shale fields, leaving argentina’s coasts unexplored. Earlier this year, state-run yPf teamed up with norway’s Spectrum to conduct an offshore seismic survey, while australian firm Searcher Seismic was also operating in the region.