The law approving the bioethanol production promotion regime was recently published in the Official Bulletin. Projects submitted under the legal framework will be entitled to the benefits provided by Chapters I and II of the Law for the Regulation and Promotion of the Production and Sustainable Use of Biofuels.
Decree 140/2007 has recently been published in the Official Gazette, declaring that the efficient usage of energy is of general interest and a national priority. It also approves the fundamentals of the denominated National Programme on the Rational and Efficient Usage of Energy. The programme will be executed in a two-stage process within 90 days of the publication of the decree.
Recently published Decree 1454/2007 has adjusted the value of the exploration and exploitation cannons in Argentine pesos for each square kilometre or fraction thereof. These new values will be valid from the date of publication in the Official Gazette and applicable until the end of 2007.
On August 8 2007 Buenos Aires adhered to Federal Law 26,093 for the Regulation and Promotion of the Sustainable Production and Use of Biofuels. Published in the Official Bulletin on May 15 2006, the law provides for tax exemptions in the payment of turnover, real estate and stamp taxes within the scope provided therein.
Enargas, the gas regulatory authority, has published a new resolution incorporating into the environmental control system a monitoring system for greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas transportation and distribution activities. The resolution is designed to promote environmental protection, including community health, by controlling contaminating gas emissions from compressors and generators.
Decree 938/2007 has been published in the Official Bulletin. Under the decree, the government instructs its ministries to implement immediately the construction of five natural gas electrical power generation plants with a total installed power of 1,500 megawatts.
In June 2007 several major developments occurred in the natural gas sector. The Secretariat of Energy published a resolution confirming the new Agreement with Natural Gas Producers, which safeguards the domestic natural gas supply by natural gas distribution companies until December 31 2011.
A new resolution has amended the rules related to the registration of hydrocarbon exploration and development companies. Under the new rules, oil companies registered with the Registry of Oil Companies and those applying for registration after the effective date of the resolution must regularly update their registration information in compliance with the effective regulations.
A new law amending the Hydrocarbons Law has been published in the Official Gazette. Article 2 of the new law establishes that, as from the enactment of the law, all hydrocarbon exploration permits and development concessions, as well as any kind of hydrocarbon exploration and/or exploitation agreement granted or approved by the federal state, are transferred to the state.
The provincial governments are calling for bids in order to award exclusive rights for the exploration and eventual exploitation of hydrocarbons in certain areas. Following a 1994 amendment to the Constitution, provinces have control over certain natural resources. They are eager to promote the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons within their jurisdictions, as this is a key element for development.
After two years of debate, Congress has approved Law 26,093 on biofuel, creating a promotion system for biofuel production and sustainable use. The new law also invites the provincial legislatures and the government of the city of Buenos Aires to adhere to the promotional regime by enacting similar laws within their jurisdiction.
The Hydrocarbons Act provides the basic regulations for hydrocarbons exploration and production. Under the act, all activities relating to the exploitation, industrialization, transport and commercialization of hydrocarbons are to be carried out by public or private companies. On August 6 2003 the executive branch issued Decree 546/2003, which complements the Hydrocarbons Act.
A mining company which holds a fiscal stability certificate under Decree 753/04 is no longer obliged to repatriate and negotiate on the local foreign exchange market the foreign exchange proceeds resulting from the export of its products. However, disbursements or commitments required to be made or satisfied abroad must be covered by the export proceeds.
A new resolution of the Secretariat of Mining has extended the list of primary production products included under the Mining Investment Law. Mining projects involving such products qualify for inclusion in the register of the law and are eligible for the benefits established by the mining investments regime.
Two presidential decrees have been issued with the broad aim of securing natural gas supply and revitalizing the natural gas production, transportation and distribution industries, which were hit hard by the 2001 economic crisis. Among other things, the decrees will ensure that gas distribution licencees and users can acquire natural gas directly from producers and brokers.
A new resolution has established leasing transaction conditions for mining corporations, companies providing mining services, organizations listed in the register of the Mining Investments Law and importers acting as lessors. Penalties have also been established for breach of the resolution, customs regulations or the mining investments regime.
Including: Oil and Gas Regime; Mining Regime; Electricity Industry; Environmental Considerations.
A recent communication issued by the Argentine Central Bank requires local banks to issue compliance acknowledgements for the repatriation of oil proceeds under Decree 2703/02. The decree entitles oil and gas producers freely to dispose of 70% of the proceeds from exports of oil, gas and their byproducts.
Two executive orders have caused a conflict between the Central Bank on the one hand, and the mining companies and the Undersecretariat of Mining on the other. The result of the dispute, on which the future of mining in Argentina depends, is eagerly awaited.
The government’s policy to deregulate the gas industry has been accompanied by new legislation. The Gas Act 24076 lays down a legal framework for natural gas transportation and distribution services.