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Such concession allows the construction and operation of pipelines, and is subject to the obligation to provide open access to third parties to their transport infrastructure, pursuant to applicable regulations, provided they have capacity available.

The following authorisations, among others, are required from a company intending to construct and operate oil and natural gas transportation pipelines and associated infrastructure, in addition to being awarded the necessary concession by the federal or provincial authority:. Do Government authorities have any powers of compulsory acquisition to facilitate land access? Pipelines that run through two or more provinces are subject to federal legislation and jurisdiction.

Pipelines located exclusively in a province are subject to the jurisdiction of such province, although they must comply with all applicable federal regulations. Pipeline concessionaires have to secure the necessary land to construct and operate their pipelines, which they may do by means of acquiring the land or requesting easements to the competent enforcement authority. The interested parties may either claim determination of the respective damages amount by the appropriate authority, or determine them by mutual agreement.

In order to determine the compensation, land owners may resort to the courts and produce evidence of the alleged damage. Pipelines and other hydrocarbon transportation infrastructure are governed under the general open-access principles, whereby third parties have access to the infrastructure subject to the applicable regulations. Thus, pipelines subject to the Hydrocarbons Act must permit the transportation of hydrocarbons belonging to third parties, provided they have available capacity.

Carriers are not allowed to give advantages or preferences to any third party, unless such preferences or advantages are based on objective criteria accepted by the enforcement authority. Disputes among regulated entities or between regulated entities and third parties arising from the distribution, storage, transportation or marketing of natural gas must be submitted to the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority, whose decision may be appealed by means of administrative proceedings before the federal administration and thereafter before the applicable federal courts.

If so, how are the costs including costs of interconnection, capacity reservation or facility expansions allocated? Gas distribution companies must operate in accordance with the terms of the concession granted to operate their networks. A licence grants the right to distribute natural gas within a specified geographic area. The concession to distribute gas does not include the exclusive right to sell gas within the same area; under certain circumstances, consumers may purchase gas directly from producers or brokers.

The Argentine legal system adheres to the open-access principles whereby licence holders must assure to all users open and non-discriminatory access to the gas transportation and distribution network operated by them. Under their licences, the distribution companies must on a regular basis receive, transport and sell gas through their distribution systems, keep all equipment and facilities in good operating condition, establish adequate measurement and control systems, improve and preserve the ecosystems in which they operate, and interrupt the service rendered to large users when necessary in order to maintain an adequate level of supply for residential and other commercial users, as directed by the enforcement authority.

The licences granted imply the obligation to keep certain infrastructure investments. Since taking office, the current federal government began dismantling the complex subsidies regime formerly in place and is implementing an adjustment of tariffs, conducting the public hearings and other necessary formalities, to foster new investments.

It is not mandatory for the transportation companies to expand their existing gas transportation pipelines network at the request of a third party. If a transportation company is not willing to expand its transportation capacity upon the request of the customers, however, the federal and local authorities may grant new concessions, so that other plays may enter the market and build the necessary pipelines to satisfy the increasing demand. Transportation tariffs are indicated in the terms of the bidding conditions of each concession.

Transporters must charge the same tariffs to all customers, unless due to the location, type of services or any other reason, the enforcement authority authorises a different tariff. The price of the gas is subject to different regulations and agreements entered into between the federal government and the natural gas producers. In practice, rates are strictly regulated by the government in relation to the macroeconomic needs, although the current federal government is implementing the administrative and regulatory improvements necessary to foster new investments. A private entity interested in distributing gas must be awarded a distribution concession.

Concessions are granted for 35 years and may be extended for 10 years.

Description

Provincial authorisations are also required to construct, operate and maintain gas distribution networks. Gas distribution companies must allow free access to their systems to every third party. Third parties enjoy open access to the transport infrastructure under the applicable regulations.

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Argentina: Oil & Gas Regulation 12222

Distributors may not grant any advantage or preference to any third party, unless such preferences or advantages are authorised based on objective criteria as determined by the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority. The terms and conditions of a concession may require distributors to undertake the investments and works necessary to expand their systems to accommodate new customers.

Tariffs for accessing the distribution network are regulated in the terms and conditions of the gas distribution concessions. Distributors must charge the same tariffs to all customers, unless due to the location, type of services or any other reason, the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority authorises a different tariff scheme. In practice, rates are strictly regulated by the government in relation to the macroeconomic needs. Consumers purchasing natural gas directly from producers may not control distribution companies that provide gas distribution services in the area where such consumers operate.

Likewise, no producer, gas storehouse owner, natural gas distributor, customer who purchases natural gas directly from producers, any group thereof or any company affiliated therewith, may hold a controlling interest in a transportation company. Gas distribution is considered a public service, and thus distributors may not sell, encumber, lease, sublease or assign the assets necessary to render the distribution service, without the prior authorisation of the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority.


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Please include details of current major initiatives or policies of the Government or regulator if any relating to natural gas trading. In , the federal government introduced certain modifications to the gas market regulations applicable to operations different from a strict bundle structure, and created a fund for investments in transportation and distribution of gas.

The regulation also classified consumers into different categories, depending on their gas expenditures. To enhance the security of the process, the regulations created a Registry of Independent Professionals. The Secretariat of Energy and may delegate supervision and control activities on the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority. The Secretary of Energy determines reference prices below export parity prices with the goal of guaranteeing regular supply in the domestic market and may establish price stabilisation mechanisms in order to avoid price fluctuation in the domestic market.

Also, the Secretariat of Energy, together with the Antitrust Commission, will perform an analysis of the sector, including the behavioural patterns of its agents, for the purpose of fixing limits at certain levels at each stage of vertical integration of the industry. The fall in gas production combined with a strong economic growth resulted in massive investments in LNG re-gasification projects.

With the government unlikely to threaten economic growth by loosening price controls further, Argentina is expected to keep investing in LNG re-gasification capacity. The mentioned activities are also subject to registration requirements set forth by the Secretariat of Energy. Any refinery must comply with federal and provincial environmental and safety regulations, which includes a previous report about the environmental impact on the area in which the refinery or plant will be built or upgraded, and a certificate on safety report about the project by a safety auditing firm, previously registered under a special registry before the Secretariat of Energy.

The investment programmes are subject to the approval of the Commission for the Strategic Planning and Coordination of the Federal Plan of Hydrocarbons Investments. The Commission is vested with broad regulatory and enforcement powers including controlling costs and setting prices. The export of crude oil, natural gas and by-products is subject to prior governmental approval. The terms and conditions applicable to the sale of hydrocarbons by producers to refineries are freely negotiated between the parties.

In any event, local prices are affected by price controls and export limitations. In relation to the gas market, there is an additional control as the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority also has powers to approve or reject potential concentrations in the gas market. The control and investigation of anti-competitive practices are carried out by the Antitrust Commission, which has broad investigative powers, including the right to: a request from private parties the submission of relevant information, documentation, commercial books, and any other document or report that may be useful to the investigation; b convene public hearings; and c request from the competent courts the issuance of search warrants to access the premises of the parties being investigated.

The resolutions of the Antitrust Commission may be appealed before the competent Court of Appeal. If so, what criteria and procedures are applied? How long does it typically take to obtain a decision approving or disapproving the transaction? In relation to the natural gas sector, the Antitrust Commission and the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority have the power to approve or reject any proposed amalgamation, change of control or merger in the gas industry. Each of those entities works at different levels, it even being possible that a proposed transaction be approved by one and rejected by the other.

Under Argentine law, international treaties entered into and approved as mandated under the Federal Constitution have precedence over local laws and regulations.

State Communications Surveillance and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Argentina

In other words, local laws and regulations must be consistent with the principles and obligations set forth in foreign treaties entered into by Argentina. In the gas industry, for example, Argentina has signed treaties with Bolivia for the importation of natural gas. Administrative fines and penalties imposed by the Federal Gas Regulatory Authority may also be appealed before the Federal Administrative Appellate Court. In practice, however, there have been cases in which the government has challenged the enforcement of such adverse awards.

Moreover, in the renegotiation of some utility agreements such as those of gas distribution companies, the government requested, as a condition of the renegotiation, the waiver by the utility companies to their rights under the bilateral investment treaties and the ICSID. Argentina has entered into different co-operation and commercial agreements in order to intensify investments in different areas, including the ones with Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan and Spain. The cases CMS and Sempra both involved litigation regarding breaches in the gas industry. Thus, CMS and Sempra were awarded several millions in damages.

After the award to CMS was released in , the government filed two motions against the ICSID panel awards, requesting a declaration that the award was null, and a stay against the execution of the award until the aforesaid nullification motion were decided. After hearing the government commitment to comply with the decision, the ICSID panel granted the motion to stay the execution of the award. The case ended with a settlement. The Sempra case also ended when the shareholders sold their stake and the buyer entered into a settlement agreement with the government.

The federal government continued implementing a number of measures hailed by the international markets as the correct moves to attract additional foreign investment in the oil and gas and other sectors, including opening the access to foreign currency, eliminating limitations to inbound and outbound money movements, reaching settlements with foreign bondholders, and dismantling complex formalities and procedures formerly in place. These developments have been widely supported by the current administration success in the October mid-term congressional elections all around the country.

Moreover, the government is poised to successfully approve in Congress, before the congressional calendar, bold labour, tax and social security legislation that will enhance the conditions for investment in many areas, including oil and gas. The authors would like to thank Marcos Herrmann, senior associate at Estudio Randle, for his invaluable assistance in the preparation of this chapter.

Ignacio Randle Estudio Randle. John P. Cogan, Jr. Chapter content Free access. Overview of Natural Gas Sector.

Argentina's 'trail of the century' nears its end

Overview of Oil Sector. Development of Oil and Natural Gas. Natural Gas Trading. Liquefied Natural Gas. Downstream Oil. Foreign Investment and International Obligations. Dispute Resolution. In all cases, offshore exploration permits include an additional one-year term. Any unused time in the exploration period may be added to the production concession term. Government policy is that hydrocarbons companies must prioritise domestic demand requirements.

Answer not available at time of print. See above. Concessions are subject to early termination in case of breach of the terms of the concession.

There are no such specific regulations prohibiting foreign investment in the natural gas sector. Acknowledgment The authors would like to thank Marcos Herrmann, senior associate at Estudio Randle, for his invaluable assistance in the preparation of this chapter. Editor-in-Chiefs: Gerard Caprio.

Argentina Data Protection & Privacy – Getting The Deal Through – GTDT

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What Does the Empirical Evidence Say? Conclusion Acknowledgments References Chapter Empirical Literature on Financial Crises: Fundamentals vs. How can we Test for Panic? Glossary References Further Reading Chapter Conclusions References Chapter Williams College, Williamstown, MA.

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