Munich Personal RePEc Archive

What drove down natural gas production in Argentina?

Barril, Diego and Navajas, Fernando H. (2011): What drove down natural gas production in Argentina?

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We address the causes behind the drop in natural gas production in Argentina since 2004, starting from a basic supply model that depends on economic incentives, and adding control variables related to different potential explanations such as firm specific (or area specific) behavior and the absence of contractual renegotiation of concessions extensions. Results from a panel of the change in natural gas production in all areas between 2004 and 2009 show that once a basic supply-past production (or reserve) relationship is modeled, other often mentioned effects become non-significant. Chiefly among them are firm specific effects and the role of renegotiations of concessions extensions. We find preliminary evidence that post 2007 renegotiations –which are associated with better price prospects- may have had an impact in correcting production decline in one leader firm. Other significant effects come from a negative impact of a change in the seasonality of production that in turn can be related to demand rationing and to price controls. Overall, the evidence suggests that the observed downcycle conforms to the prediction of a simple model of depressed economic incentives acting upon mature conventional natural gas fields and hindering investment in reserve additions or new technologies.

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