23rd World Petroleum Congress - Houston

From December 5-9, 2021, Houston, energy capital of the world, hosted the 23rd World Petroleum Congress for the first time since 1987. Facilitating collaborative discussions on key topics, the Congress drove commitment to action and paved the path for the future of energy. Over the span of five days, the conference welcomed over 5,000 attendees representing more than 70 countries. The Technical and Strategic program together featured insights from over 300 expert speakers including over 50 CEOs, 16 ministerial delegations and 13 Ministers of Energy.

Throughout the week, delegates heard from global energy leaders the latest on technology with special focus in the Energy Transition and Innovations Energy Solutions. On the exhibition floor, more than 75 national and international companies showcased their latest innovations introducing cutting-edge solutions to a group of judges as they competed for the Energy Innovator Award.

The IAPG Houston and the Argentine Consulate participated in the exhibition with a booth in the International Pavilion where general information about the energy sector of the country was presented. In addition, important meetings were held with delegates from several countries who expressed their interest in participating in the Energy Sector business of Argentina.

As part of the Technical and Strategic Program, Sergio Afronti (CEO of YPF) made a presentation on the company's activity with a special focus on the “Vaca Muerta” project, including the significant results of oil and gas production of the country and the cost reduction associated with the development of unconventional activity in Argentina.

Marking a successful end to the 23rd edition of the World Petroleum Congress the Closing Ceremony of the Congress saw the official handover to the Organizing Committee for the 24th World Petroleum Congress, which will take place in Calgary, Canada from September 17-21, 2023. 




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Meeting with Argentina’s Consul General for Houston

The Board members of the IAPGH had the pleasure to meet with Argentina’s Consul General for Houston Maria Cristina Tosonotti last October 28th.

Great weather allowed for an outside meeting following COVID protocols in a very positive atmosphere.

Argentina’s Consul General for Houston expressed the important role IAPGH has in the USA and it was agreed that we will continue to work together in order to promote the exchange of technological, commercial, and regulatory issues pertaining to the energy sector of Argentina and the US and foster the understanding of Argentina's energy sector business environment.


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The Vaca Muerta is Booming, In Spite of Argentina’s Above Ground Risk

 The Vaca Muerta is Booming, In Spite of Argentina’s Above Ground Risk

Argentina’s Vaca Muerta contains the second largest shale gas reserves and the fourth largest shale oil reserves in the world.  Geologically it rivals the Permian Basin in terms of potential.  Above ground however, Argentina has been unable to come close to the Permian in regard to its level of political, economic, regulatory and legal security.  In spite of these above ground risks however, the Vaca Muerta remains a very attractive investment option for international and domestic oil companies, due in large part to the unique nature of the shale production process compared to the conventional production process.

In a 2021 Resources Policy article with my colleagues Gabe Collins, Jim Krane, Ken Medlock and Francisco Monaldi at Rice University’s Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies, we highlight how tight oil and shale gas investments are less at risk of government extortion and expropriation than are conventional oil and natural gas investments. 

Conventional oil and natural gas extraction involves large upfront sunk costs and long-term payoffs.  Once a company makes an investment in a conventional oil or natural gas well it becomes very vulnerable to adverse government actions.  The government knows that as long as it pays a price that allows the company to cover its modest operational costs, the company will continue to produce.  And, the government can always expropriate the conventional investment, which will continue to produce for many years with only minimal investment.

Shale oil and natural gas extraction involves small upfront sunk costs and short-term payoffs.  More akin to a manufacturing process than a conventional natural resource production cycle, shale producers are constantly in motion, with a constant level of investment needed to maintain production levels.  While a conventional well can remain productive for a decade or longer, a shale well’s production peaks within the first fortnight, and within two years has effectively ceased.

As a result of these production differences, shale extraction provides international and domestic energy companies with substantially more protection against adverse government intervention.  If a government were to attempt to squeeze these companies through creeping expropriation, where the government gradually confiscates more and more of a company’s revenue, the company can simply stop its shale investment activity, and the government will begin to experience the negative consequences of declining production within a matter of weeks.  And, were the government to expropriate a private company’s assets, it would also witness a rapid decline in oil and natural gas production.

Today in Argentina, shale oil investment benefits more than shale gas investment from the protections offered by the unique nature of the shale extraction process compared to the conventional extraction process.  This is largely due to Argentina’s comparatively less-developed natural gas infrastructure, ranging from pipelines to LNG export facilities, to petrochemical plants. The ability of Argentina natural gas producers to take full advantage of the Vaca Muerta’s potential is constrained by their lack of export options.  And, private companies are at least at the present time reluctant to make these types of long-term infrastructure investments that would expose them to the risks of different forms of expropriation similar to those of conventional oil and natural gas investments.


Author: Dr. Mark P. Jones


Mark P. Jones is the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, the Political Science Fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy and the Director of the Master of Global Affairs Program at Rice University.  Jones has conducted research and lectured in Argentina for thirty years and is the author of more than one hundred articles and chapters on Argentine politics, government, economics and society.






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IAPGH Year End 2021 Celebration

On December 9th we were able to get together with colleagues and friends for IAPG Houston's traditional end of year annual cocktail party.

Our president, Andres Weissfeld, shared a few words and highlighted the many accomplishments of IAPGH amidst a particularly challenging 2021, including the organization of a working breakfast with Mr. Jorge Arguello, Argeninean Ambassador to the US, several webinars with industry experts, our annual golf tournament and the progress in our scholarship program.

This year IAPGH was able to award four scholarships for 2021-22, and signed a multi-year agreement with Fulbright to create a new joint scholarship which will allow IAPGH to reach a broader and more diverse pool of candidates as well as provide a more comprehensive scholarship, see link here.

The president also thanked the continuous support from its sponsors and from the Argentinian consulate in Houston to help the institution accomplish its goals and honor its mission.



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Fulbright Argentina and IAPG Houston joint scholarship

Fulbright Argentina and IAPG Houston joint scholarship

We are very happy to announce that Comisión Fulbright Argentina and IAPG Houston reached an agreement for a new joint scholarship supporting Argentineans seeking postgraduate degrees in energy-related studies in the United States.

This will enable more opportunities for development and growth of experienced professionals and students which is one of the key missions of IAPG Houston.



Fulbright, junto con IAPG Houston, estableció este programa para otorgar a graduados argentinos la oportunidad de cursar maestrías en EE.UU. a partir de 2022.

La Beca Fulbright - IAPG Houston abrió su primera convocatoria destinada a graduados en áreas afines a la industria del gas y el petróleo, como ingeniería petrolera, geología, geofísica, ciencias del medio ambiente, química, o energías renovables. 

Maestría en Estados Unidos en 2022
📆 Convocatoria abierta hasta el 13 de septiembre de 2021
🏭 Destinada a graduados de áreas afines a la industria del gas y el petróleo

Podés leer sobre beneficios, requisitos y más detalles en 


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