Vaca Muerta: Oil sales boosted energy exports to more than $4.1 billion

Oil sales abroad, driven by production in Vaca Muerta, accounted for more than half of energy export revenues, during the first five months of the year. Added to a marked reduction in imports in the sector, The energy trade balance reached a surplus of almost US$3 billion so far in 2024.

Revenue from oil exports were a total of US$2,199 million, in the accumulated of the first five months of the year. Is about 53% of the total generated by sales abroad in the sectorin the analysis period.

The second sub-item in terms of income (28%) was Fuels, with a total of US$1,168 million.

The data is official and comes from the latest Argentine Commercial Exchange (ICA) report, published monthly by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec). Also from Chapter IV of the National Energy Secretariat.

US$2,199
million were the revenues from crude oil exports, in the accumulated of the first 5 months of the year.

To put in perspective, the US$2,199 million generated by crude oil exports this year They are equivalent to an increase of 62% year-on-year.

Between January and April of this year, oil processed in refineries registered a negative variation of 3.6%.

In parallel, Oil production in Neuquén reached 394,010 barrels per day in May. Of that total, some 370,000 were exclusive to Vaca Muerta which, in turn, meant a jump of more than 20% year-on-year. The only producing region in the country that recorded those numbersand the rest fought to maintain their performance.

Besides, Oil exports from the Neuquén Basin are the only ones that registered an annual organic jump, in recent years. They went from an equivalent of almost 30 barrels per day in 2021 to about 110 barrels per day in the first quarter of this year.

In the same period, sales abroad from the rest of the producing basins remained stable, without major shocks or falls.


Exports: the energy balance showed a surplus of almost US$3 billion


As indicated earlier in this article, national energy exports totaled US$4.17 billion during the first five months of the year. The amount represents an increase of 26.7% year-on-yearcompared to US$3,292 million in the same period.

Regarding imports of the segment, according to the Indec report, Purchases were made abroad for a total of US$1,253 million. On a year-on-year basis, it means a marked reduction of 64%, compared to the US$3,482 million in the same period last year.

Taking into account that exports reached US$4,170 million and imports US$1,254 millionthe difference between one figure and another showed a positive result for the country of US$2,916 million.


In May, about US$620 million less was spent than last year


The latest trade exchange report from Indec was a faithful reflection of what was recorded during the first five months of the year: good performance of export volumes and revenues and a solid drop in imported quantities and their respective expenditures.

According to official information, exports for the month totaled US$892 million, which is equivalent to a marked year-on-year increase of 51.2% compared to the US$590 million in the same month of 2023.

US$302
million was the extra amount generated by the sector’s exports this year.

The value of exports rose by 302 million dollars, due to a 0.2% increase in prices and a 50.5% increase in quantities. Essentially due to an increase in the exported volume of fuels and crude oil. The sub-item that grew the most was crude oil (208 million dollars)”, detailed from Indec.

Regarding imports, in May There were purchases abroad for about US$392 million, while in the same month last year they were US$1,019 million. This is equivalent to a healthy lower expenditure of 61.5%: a reduction similar to that seen in the accumulated of the first five months of the year.

The decrease of 626 million dollars is explained by a 56.2% drop in imported quantities and a 13.6% drop in prices. Mainly due to the 30.9% reduction in liquefied natural gas and 27.9% in gaseous natural gas,” they indicated.

They added that the Fuels and manufactured lubricants sub-item was the one that decreased the most of all economic uses (-603 million dollars).

 
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