World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Oilprice Interview: Sam Logan - Energy Showdown in Argentina


The Energy Showdown in Argentina - Interview with Sam Logan

Things Are About to Get Much Worse for Energy Firms in Argentina - Sam Logan

Angering Spain by seizing and nationalizing a majority of Repsol's shares in YPF and ramping up the rhetoric over the Falkland Islands as exploration deals promise to make the territory a major oil player overnight, Argentina is making few friends in the fossil fuels industry these days. Sam Logan, owner of the Latin America-focused private intelligence boutique, Southern Pulse, speaks to Oilprice.com about the politics of populism behind Argentina's energy aggression.

Samuel Logan is the founding partner of Southern Pulse, a private human intelligence organization focused on investigating security, politics, energy, and black market economics in Latin America. Southern Pulse investigators operate from hubs in Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile to leverage Southern Pulse's HUMINT network, unique access, and deep understanding of the region to mitigate risk for public and private sector clients with exposure to political, security, financial, or legal risk in Latin America.

In the interview Sam Talks about:

• Why Carlos Slim bought shares in YPF
• Why Argentina won't take any definitive action in the Falklands
• Why things will get worse for energy firms in Argentina
• Argentina's brewing political crisis
• Argentina's future relationship with Spain

Interview conducted by Jen Alic of Oilprice.com

Oilprice.com: In April, Argentina nationalized Spanish Repsol's shares in YPF and now shareholders have approved a move that could see a sharp cut in dividend payouts and a redirection of profits to investment. This is in line with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's justification for nationalizing Repsol's shares in YPF. She had accused Repsol of fleecing YPF by using too much of its profits for shareholder benefits rather than investing in exploration and turning Argentina into an importer of fuel. Will this essentially political and economic populism help or harm Argentina?

Sam Logan: While there are certainly short-term gains to be realized, the long-term effects of the Argentina-Spain relationship and Argentina's relationship with other oil majors will result in significant setbacks in investment confidence and overall appetite for working with the Argentine government.

Oilprice.com: What we would like to know is what is missing from this story and what role certain vested interests, such as the Eskenazi family (minority YPF shareholders brought on by the Kirchners who later defaulted on their Repsol loans) and Carlos Slim, have played in the YPF saga.

Sam Logan: The Eskenazi family really took a hit from this action. When brought on board by the Kirchners, they took out loans to buy their stakeholder position in YPF. The payback on those loans was based partially on dividend payments. So the Kirchner nationalization and subsequent decision on dividends has left them in default. Carlos Slim, who got 8% of YPF when Eskenazi defaulted, was simply making a personal investment, not a political statement. When you're the world's richest man, it's not particularly risky to make low-value purchases and hold them long term to see if they pan out.

Oilprice.com: Populism is also at play in Argentina's renewed push over the Falkland Islands. Last week, Premier signed a $1 billion deal develop Rockhopper Exploration's Sea Lion field in the Falkland Islands and Argentina is threatening to sue Premier for illegal activity. How will this play out for Argentina, and for big oil? What can we expect in the near- medium-term?

Sam Logan: The Argentine lawsuit will move forward and the UK firms will ignore the action, but BP could get caught in the crossfire as a UK firm with holdings in Argentina. Already we've seen Kirchner's administration apply pressure to BP.

Oilprice.com: How are oil and the Falklands used as symbols of national sovereignty in Argentina?

Sam Logan: The Falklands have long been used as symbols in Argentina, and this is an issue that crosses party lines so there is more political currency available for the Falklands issue across the Argentine political spectrum. There could be more saber rattling, but at this point I don't see the Argentine government taking definitive action.

Oilprice.com: Would you agree that at the heart of the matter is Argentina's misguided energy policy, in place since 2003?

Sam Logan: It's not just energy. This is more about Argentina's overall economic policies and the steadily increasing economic pressures the Kirchner government is facing. Inflation, currency controls and price controls on gasoline all play a huge role in this market, which extends well beyond the recent actions with YPF. Let's not forget that until recently Argentina was a natural gas exporter. Due to a long-term political negligence and mismanagement of infrastructure, Argentina is dependent on multinational energy firms to develop deposits and other known reserves - not to mention the potential for hydraulic fracturing. Ultimately, the irrational behavior Argentina has shown against multinational energy firms underscores a brewing political crisis that shows little to no sign of abatement in the near-term. It's likely to get worse for energy firms in Argentina before it gets better.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Interviews/The-Energy-Showdown-in-Argentina-Interview-with-Sam-Logan.html

Interview by. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news