Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America, with a GDP of USD 638 billion in 2017. Its GDP per capita during that same year was USD 14,460, the second highest among Latin American countries.
The extractive industry of Argentina includes oil, gas and minerals. Argentina is the third most advanced producer of unconventional oil and gas. It is the second country with largest shale gas resources, and the fourth country in unconventional oil resources.
In 2015 Argentina elected new government authorities that launched a series of reforms aimed at bringing back the country to the global economic agenda. Authorities have stated that extractive industries, specifically hydrocarbons and mining, would play a pivotal role in sustainable economic growth.
Oil and gas related activities accounted for 3% of the country’s GDP during 2017. Over the past few years, Argentina has become the third most advanced country for unconventional oil and gas projects development, behind the United States and Canada. Argentina ranks, including Vaca Muerta deposit, as the second country with largest shale gas resources and the fourth in unconventional oil resources. The development of these resources will need large and continued investments in the coming decade. This development represents a challenge and requires strong institutions and transparency.
The state-controlled oil company, YPF leads the activities of exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and LPG. In 2017, YPF represented about 43% of the country’s total production of oil and 50% of the total production of gas. The company is the Latin-American leader in exploratory and production projects of non-conventional oil and gas.
Mining in Argentina is still at an early stage of development, although there is mining activity and proven large potential in different provinces for projects of world-class magnitude. In accordance with official data recently published by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC), mining related activities accounted for 1% of the country’s GDP during 2017. Social and political conflict around metallic large-scale mining has resulted in several provinces banning certain mining techniques.