Argentina Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources and energy

Argentina is rich in natural resources. Gold and copper are mined in the Bajo de la Alumbrera in the northwest. In the south, iron ore is mined, while uranium is found in Mendoza Province in the west. The country also has assets of aluminum, coal, lead, zinc, tin, silver, asbestos, manganese and more, many of which have not been exploited. The mining industry is dominated by foreign-owned large companies.

A large part of the energy sector is now privately owned. Oil production has fallen steadily since 1998, while natural gas has become increasingly important. However, since 2007 gas production has also decreased.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Argentina with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Most of the oil is extracted in Patagonia in the south. There, in 2010, new large deposits of shale oil and gas were discovered, which in the long term can generate large incomes. Most of the oil is extracted in Patagonia in the south. In 2010, large deposits of shale and shale gas were discovered in the 30,000 square kilometer area of ​​Vaca Muerta in Patagonia. The difficulties in drilling in the area make it much more expensive to extract the Argentine deposits than those in the United States. In 2013, YPF, which has the rights to drill in 40 percent of the area, signed agreements with US companies such as Chevron and Dow Chemical, and the Malaysian Petronas on extraction of parts of the deposit. Several other foreign companies also operated there, but on a smaller scale. Discussions about new collaborations were also held with a number of other foreign oil companies, Economic overview).

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, AR stands for Argentina. Visit itypeusa for more information about Argentina.

Almost 60 percent of electricity generation came in 2011 from gas and oil-fired thermal power plants, while hydropower accounted for about 30 percent. On the Paraná River, Argentina and Paraguay have a joint power plant, Yacyretá. There are also two nuclear power plants and a third is being built. There are also plans to build even more in collaboration with a Chinese company. Lack of energy occasionally leads to power failure.

Gas pipelines for export have been built to Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Argentina also makes money from Bolivia’s gas exports to Chile going through the country. In recent years, however, gas imports have been greater than exports.

Almost a fifth of the country is covered by forests, ranging from pine forests in the Andes to rainforest areas in the northeast. Deforestation is a problem and the country is estimated to have lost 70 percent of its forest land since the beginning of the 20th century.


Energy use per person

2,015 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

3052 kWh, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

204 025 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

4.7 tonnes (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

10.0 percent (2015)



Court gives legal sign for legal proceedings against Fernández de Kirchner

December 21

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will face trial for receiving tens of thousands of dollars in bribes during his time in power. It confirms a federal court, which thus goes along the lines of Judge Claudio Bonadio (see August 2018). As a senator, Fernández de Kirchner cannot be imprisoned, but the prosecutorial immunity that applies to congressmen does not prevent her from being brought to trial.

Argentina’s economy is shrinking

December 18

Argentina’s GDP has fallen by more than 3 percent in the last three months of 2018. It is the second three-month period in which Argentina has negative growth. The biggest problem is shops, the fishing sector and industry, while things are relatively good for the financial sector. According to IMF forecasts, the Argentine economy will shrink by 2.6 percent in 2018 and by 1.6 percent in 2019.

Argentina faces mandatory vaccination

December 17

The Senate votes to introduce mandatory vaccination against diseases that can be prevented, such as measles, rubella and mumps (the law covers those born after 1965). Adults should be vaccinated against hepatitis B. Special rules apply to the elderly. In the legislation, which has already been adopted by the Chamber of Deputies, citizens will not be able to access some public service if they are unable to present a valid vaccination card. Everyone who wants a national ID card, a passport or a driving license will need to present a certificate. Employers must not deny employees time off for vaccination, and it will be punishable for health care workers to refuse someone to get a vaccine. Both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies agreed.

The Mapuche people sue energy companies for environmental degradation

December 17

The Mapuche people in southern Argentina sue the big energy giants, American Exxon, French Total and Pan American Energy, partly owned by BP, for the damage they caused to the environment near the city of Anelo in Patagonia. A number of other smaller energy companies are mentioned in the atmosphere. According to a survey conducted by the environmental organization Greenpeace, the companies have dumped environmentally hazardous waste, which is a danger to both people and animals in the area. The waste comes from Vaca Muerta, where extraction of shale oil and gas is ongoing.

Former Ford bosses are being convicted of crimes under the military dictatorship

December 12

Two former executives of the American car company Ford in Argentina, Hector Sibilla and Pedro Muller, are sentenced to twelve and ten years in prison, respectively, for cooperating with the military junta from 1976 to 1983. They are sentenced for providing authorities with information about union leaders on the left. later were kidnapped and tortured. Sibilla must also have been present on at least one occasion when torture occurred. Both men say they should appeal the verdict.


Lost submarine is found

November 17

The submarine, ARA San Juan, which disappeared in mid-November 2018 has now been found by a US company 800 meters deep in northern Patagonia, some 40 miles off the coast. The submarine must have been crushed by the pressure as it sank. Relatives of the 44 crew members demand that their remains be salvaged, but the Argentine government says it cannot be afforded.


The crisis budget is approved after fierce debate

October 25th

The Chamber of Deputies approves the government’s crisis budget following a fierce marathon debate. 138 members vote for the budget, 103 receive and eight members cast their votes. The government wins the vote when 32 members of the Peronist Party Partido Justicialista, PJ’s moderate faction, vote for the budget. According to forecasts, the Argentine economy will shrink by 2.6 percent in 2018 and inflation will rise to 40 percent on an annual basis. Outside the congress building, protests against austerity policy are ongoing. These lead to clashes between police and protesters. Opposition leaders condemn the violence they blamed on “extremists”.

Argentina protests against British military exercise

October 9

Argentina faces a formal protest at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires against British military exercises being held in the Falkland Islands later in October. Argentina made a similar protest in 2016, when the British argued that it was a routine exercise.


The IMF increases support for Argentina

September 26th

IMFpledges greater support to Argentina than the parties agreed in June 2018. Argentina may borrow just over $ 57 billion to be paid over a three-year period, instead of the $ 50 billion that was included in the first aid package. The money will also be paid out at a faster rate than it was originally intended. The problems are nevertheless hopeful for the government, not just because of falling value for pesos and high inflation. Unemployment has risen to 10 percent, not least as many have left their jobs in the public sector. At the same time, trade unions demand that pensions be increased, as do taxes, and that some market reforms, which have led to factories being closed down, must be withdrawn. At the same time, President Macri is losing popularity,

The Governor of the Central Bank resigns. Macri negotiates more money from the IMF

September 25

Central Bank Governor Luis Caputo is leaving after only three months at his post. The timing of Caputo’s departure is sensitive as President Macri is in the US to negotiate with the IMFon new support. New central bank governor becomes Guido Sandleris, who participated in the discussions with the IMF in June. Caputo says he resigns for personal reasons, but it is speculated that disagreements with the IMF are behind. According to a source quoted by the Financial Times, Caputo has wanted to intervene to influence the exchange rate for pesos, something the IMF should have opposed. Other sources talk about cooperation difficulties with Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne. The policy rate in Argentina is now at 60 percent, the peso has lost half its value against the dollar and inflation is expected to reach 40 percent in 2018. At the same time, a 36-hour national general strike is ongoing against the government’s crisis budget.

Tens of thousands in protest against Macris crisis budget

September 24th

Tens of thousands of protesters gather in Buenos Aires to protest against the government’s new crisis budget and with banners with the words “No to the IMF “. A general strike is also announced until September 25. At the same time, President Macri says the government continued to negotiate with the IMF to get more support for the country.

Macri is accused of exceeding his powers

September 6

Two former congressmen are reporting President Macri’s abuse of power when, without consulting Congress, he signs a new loan agreement with the IMF. They argue that, according to the Constitution, only Congress can make such a decision.

Macri announces new crisis measures

September 3

President Macri announces new and tough savings measures. The number of ministries should be reduced from 22 to 10, and half of all ministers may go. In addition, the export tax is temporarily reintroduced in certain cereals. The purpose is to stabilize the economy and prevent the value of peson from falling further. At the same time, thousands of former government employees who have lost their jobs are protesting against austerity policies. Read more about the causes of the crisis in Argentina – the crisis in six charts


The policy rate is raised to 60 percent

August 30th

The Argentine central bank raises the key rate from 45 percent to 60 percent. Despite this, the person loses value against the dollars. The exchange rate falls by 13 percent on a 24-hour period.

The IMF agrees to faster loan disbursement

August 29th

Argentina and the IMF agree that parts of the $ 50 billion crisis loan should be paid out prematurely, as the Argentine economy continues to deteriorate. On the other hand, the Argentine government promises to reduce the budget deficit from 2.7 percent this year to 1.7 percent in 2019. Since the turn of the year, the value of the Argentine person has fallen by 40 percent against the dollar and inflation in the country remains high. The value of the person has fallen by almost 8 percent in one week.

Ex-president’s house is being searched by police

August 23rd

Police are searching several properties belonging to former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. This happens as part of the large corruption investigation, which was revealed earlier in August. The house searches are possible after Judge Claudio Bonadio succeeded in obtaining parts of the immunity from prosecution that Fernández de Kirchner has claimed as senator. She claims that she has not committed any crimes.

The Senate says no to legalize abortion

9th of August

The Senate votes no to legalize abortion after a 16-hour debate. 38 senators thus reject the bill that was approved by the Chamber of Deputies in June (see June 2018), while 31 senators support it. Three members cast their votes. Both abortion advocates and opponents demonstrate outside the congress building. According to the Ministry of Health, about 350,000 illegal abortions are carried out per year in Argentina.

Former Vice President is convicted of bribery

August 7th

Former Vice President Amado Boudou is sentenced to five years and 10 months imprisonment for bribery and for conducting business transactions incompatible with his tenure. The verdict states that he has no right to hold any political records and is required to pay the equivalent of $ 3,200 in fines. Boudou has also been the country’s finance minister. A further five people are convicted of involvement in the corruption scandal that was unveiled in 2012. Boudou was then accused of gaining control over a company that would print both banknotes and Férnandez de Kirchner’s promotional material via shell companies and intermediaries. Another legal process is underway against Boudou, where he is, among other things, accused of money laundering.

At least 16 arrested in new corruption scandal

August 2

At least 16 businessmen and former government officials are arrested following new disclosures of corruption during Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s time in power. This is according to reports in the La Nacíon newspaper that these people paid millions in bribes to the then president in exchange for public construction contracts. The disclosures are based on information from a driver who worked for Roberto Baratta, one of Kirchner’s ministers, from 2005 to 2015. According to media reports, the total is more than $ 50 million, but the judge Claudio Bonadio indicates a significantly higher sum. Fernandez de Kirchner denies that there is anything in the allegations and claims that President Macri, his media contacts and Judge Bonadio are trying to discredit her. But the deal also hits Macri, as his cousin who has taken over the family’s business empire has acknowledged that he paid to win a contract. In September, Bonadio requests that Fernández de Kirchner be arrested and that her immunity from prosecution be revoked. Legal proceedings are also initiated against some 40 other persons.


Argentina requests that Iran’s former foreign minister be extradited

July 12

Argentina’s federal courts send a request to Russia and China to arrest former Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and extradite him to Argentina so he can be heard about the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994. The request is sent before Velayati, who is now an adviser to the President of Iran, will visit Russia.


General strike makes Argentina stand still

June 25

Large parts of Argentina have been silent since several unions announced a general strike in protest of the government’s decision to borrow $ 50 billion from the IMF. In addition, the trade union organization CGT demands that wages be increased in line with inflation, which is now around 30 percent, and believes that the austerity policy proposed by the IMF will hit the weakest groups hardest. In Buenos Aires, public transport stops and several roads are blocked by activists. All air traffic is also down. Many Argentinians blame the IMF for the acute economic crisis of the millennium.

Peson’s crisis gets minister on a fall

17th of June

The value of the Argentine peso against the dollar continues to fall, now by 6 percent. This means that the exchange rate has fallen by a total of 30 percent since the beginning of the year. President Macri now chooses to dismiss two of his ministers, including Minister of Energy Juan José Aranguren, former head of Shell’s oil company in Argentina, who has admitted his fortune of $ 88 million overseas because he lacks confidence in the Argentine economy. Earlier in the week, Fed Governor Federico Sturzenegger also had to leave his post.

Argentina one step closer to free abortion?

June 14

The Chamber of Deputies is voting for a marathon debate to legalize abortion until the 14th week of pregnancy. 129 members voted in favor of the proposal, while 125 voted against and one member abstained. For the abortion ban to be lifted, the Senate must also vote yes. President Macri who opposes a law change has said he will not veto the Senate’s approval. Abortion is only allowed in Argentina after a rape or if the woman’s life is in danger. In order to get the right to do the procedure, a woman must apply for permission from a judge.

The IMF grants a billion loan to Argentina

7 June

The IMF offers Argentina a $ 50 billion loan to help it cope with the economic crisis. In exchange, the IMF calls for major savings in the state budget and measures to reduce high inflation. The agreement is approved a few weeks later by the IMF board. This will lead to an almost 9 percent boost on the Buenos Aires stock exchange.


British Foreign Minister visits Argentina

May 23

Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson visits Argentina. This is the first time in 25 years that a British foreign minister is visiting the country, which is seen as yet another sign that relations between the UK and Argentina have improved since the Argentine power change in 2015.

Priest is sentenced to long prison sentence for sexual abuse of children

May 23

A Catholic priest is sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting seven children in a school in Parana, some 60 miles from Buenos Aires, from 1985 to 1993. The victims were boys aged 13-14 who lived in the school boarding school. The priest denies crime.

Prosecution is being brought against militants for torture during the Falklands War

May 16

Prosecution is brought against 26 Argentine officers who are accused of torturing their own soldiers during the Falklands War. The torture carried out by a special unit was aimed at curbing alleged discipline problems among the soldiers who suffered from lack of food and other supplies. The case was first raised in 2017, but new facts have come to light since the security classification of military documents from the time of the war has been removed.

Argentina is seeking support from the IMF

May 8

Argentina seeks help from the IMF to avert an acute economic crisis. Finance Minister Nicolas Dujovne travels to Washington to negotiate a loan. According to President Macri, high oil prices and concerns about an expected interest rate hike in the United States have hit the Argentine economy. The decision raises a lot of criticism, as many Argentines blame the IMF for the deep economic crisis that the country suffered around the turn of the millennium.

Argentina raises the key rate to 40 percent

May 4th

Argentina’s central bank raises the key rate by almost 7 percent to 40 percent. This is the third time in just over a week that the bank has raised its interest rate level (from just over 27 percent). The measure is taken to counteract the fall in prices of people who have lost a quarter of their value in the past year. In 2017, prices rose by 17 percent, in Latin America only Venezuela had higher inflation. According to estimates, prices have risen by just over 25 percent so far in 2018.


Every fourth department employee is dismissed

January 29th

President Macri announces that every fourth employee in the ministries will be terminated and no government employees will receive any salary increases in the coming year. This is expected to result in savings of $ 77 million. At the same time, the president is imposing a ban on ministers to employ family members in the ministries and large state corporations. This includes those who already have employment. Among those who are allowed to go are Labor Minister Jorge Triaca’s wife and two of his sisters, as well as Home Minister Rogelio Frigerio’s father and wife. In opposition, Macri Fernández de Kirchner criticized the brother-in- law and friendship corruption, but he himself has been criticized for letting top jobs go to people close to him.

Argentina Energy and Environment Facts

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