Updates to electricity spot prices

On February 8, 2024, the Secretary of Energy issued Resolution SE No. 9/2024 ("Resolution 9"), which amends Resolution No. 869/2023 ("Resolution 869").

Resolution 869 had approved the last adjustment of spot market remuneration established in Resolution SE No. 826/2022 and prior regulations.

Resolution 9 is issued within the framework of the Emergency Decree No. 55/2023, which declared the emergency of the National Energy Sector with respect to the segments under federal jurisdiction of generation, transportation and distribution of electricity, and transportation and distribution of natural gas, effective until December 31, 2024 (see our analysis of this regulation, here).

Resolution 9 is of an exceptional and temporary nature, whereby it will be applicable until the Secretary of Energy approves, no later than July 1, 2024, new regulations, with the end-goal of achieving an efficient, autonomous, competitive and sustainable energy market, in turn allowing free contracting among supply and demand, and the integration of the different generation technologies.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Daiana Perrone, Rocío Valdez and/or Victoria Barrueco.

Changes in the Electrical Power Transmission Grid Expansions Regulation

On January 31, 2024, the National Electricity Regulatory Entity (in Spanish “Ente Nacional Regulador de la Electricidad”, hereinafter “ENRE”) published Resolution 65/2024 (“Resolution 65”), introducing changes to the regulation applicable to electrical power transmission and distribution grid expansions and connection requests, with the end-goal of simplifying each of the below processes.

To that end, Resolution 65:

  1. Eases the process for approving minor scale electrical power transmission or distribution grid expansion works.
  2. Approves a new methodology to assess requests aimed at constructing or expanding electrical power transmission or distribution grid expansions, other than those set forth in (a) above.
  3. Approves a new methodology to assess connection applications to the existing electrical power grid; and
  4. Creates two registries for expansion and connection requests to the electrical power grid.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Daiana Perrone and/or Victoria Barrueco.

Omnibus Reform Bill: Modifications to Hydrocarbons and Natural Gas Regulatory Framework

On December 27, 2023, Argentine President Javier Milei sent to the Congress an omnibus bill (the “Omnibus Bill”). Matters pertaining to hydrocarbons and natural gas are addressed below:

I. Amendments to Law 17,319 on Hydrocarbons

  1. Scope and objectives: The Bill includes the hydrocarbon processing activity as part of the law’s scope, empowering the Executive Branch to grant authorizations for its development. Also, the main objective of the national policy is modified to maximize the income obtained from resources’ exploitation and satisfaction of the hydrocarbon needs of the country.
  2. Free trade: The Executive Branch would no longer have the power to fix prices of the domestic market in any of the production stages (by way of eliminating the so-called domestic barrel). In the case of state-owned companies, these may only trade at arms-length prices. In relation to foreign market permit holders, concessionaires, refiners and/or marketers, these may freely export hydrocarbons and/or their derivatives, and the Executive Branch will regulate its conditions, with the end-goal of promoting free international trade.
  3. Exploration activities: The Bill removes the exclusivity of the superficial examination in areas reserved to state-owned companies and revokes the section that did not allow to begin with such works without prior approval. On the other hand, Section 21 modifies the payment of royalties for hydrocarbons extracted during exploration (previously set on 15%), which will now be agreed in the bidding process.
  4. Investment regime: Concessionaires would no longer be required to ensure that their investments ensure the maximum production of hydrocarbons, and that they are compatible with the adequate and economic exploitation of the field and the observance of criteria that guarantee the adequate conservation of reserves.
  5. Exploitation by foreign legal entities: the Bill overturns the Section that did not allow foreign legal entities to bid for permits and concessions.
  6. Royalties: The exploitation concessionaire would pay a monthly payment to the grantor, to be determined in bidding awarding process. Furthermore, the enforcement authority will have the power to reduce the royalty up to five percent (5%) taking into account the productivity, conditions, and location of the wells. Per the bill, royalties will be the sole income of the provinces (owner of the resources).
  7. Unconventional exploitation: The exploitation concessionaire, within the area of concession, may require the subdivision of the area and the conversion from conventional to unconventional. In addition, the Bill eliminates the five (5) year time-bard applicable to the pilot planning stage, and the possibility to request for ten (10) year extensions.
  8. Replacement of the transport concession: References related to hydrocarbon processing are incorporated to Article 4 regarding transportation. Likewise, the regime of transportation concessions is replaced for an authorization regime.

II. Amendments to Law 24,076 on Natural Gas

  1. Exports and imports: While natural gas imports continue to be authorized without prior approval, exports must be regulated by the Executive Branch.
  2. License Renewal: The Bill extends the term for license renewal, from ten (10) to twenty (20) years.
  3. Transportation, distribution, and stocking: The acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of new gas storage facilities is allowed.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Pablo Arrascaeta, Daiana Perrone, Florencia Martínez Trobbiani, Milagros Piñeiro, Rocío Valdez, and/or Victoria Barrueco.

Emergency Decree 70/2023 and the Energy Sector

On December 21, 2023, President Javier Milei released Emergency Decree No. 70/2023 (“Decree 70”). Decree 70 will enter into force on December 29.

While emergency decreets are constitutionally required to go through Congress, they are binding until they’re overturned.

Key aspects of the measures adopted by Decree 70 with respect to the energy sector are summarized below:

1. Hydrocarbons: Decree 70 revokes Decree No. 1060/2000 that established a limited term of exclusive fuel supply contracts entered into between oil companies and/or fuel suppliers and gas stations operators.

2. Electricity:

  1. Export Contracts: Decree 70 revokes Decree No. 1491/2002. This decree established that power capacity, energy and trading agreements: (i) were not comprised by Law No. 25,561 (that declared public emergency and the reform of the FX rate regime in 2002) and Decree No. 214/2002 (which allowed debtors to cancel payment obligations in Argentine pesos), and (ii) would be exclusively invoiced in US Dollars.
  2. Power Transmission Expansions: Decree 70 revokes Law No 25,822 that established the “Federal Electric Transportation Plan”, implemented by the Secretary of Energy (the “SE”). It also revokes Decree 624/2003 that authorized the SE to re-determine the fee or price corresponding to the portion of power transmission facilities not yet operational, regarding high voltage transmission or trunk distribution grid.
  3. Refundable loans: Decree 70 revokes Decree No. 311/2006, that approved refundable loans from the National Treasury to the Unified Fund, created by Section 37 of Law No. 24,065. Per law, receivables of the Unified Fund would act as a hedge against the fluctuations of the spot price and the stabilized price of the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM).
  4. Distributed Generation: Decree 70 abrogates Sections 16 to 37 of Law No. 27,424, which foresaw certain promotional provisions with respect to distributed generation.

3. Powers granted to the Secretary of Energy: Decree 70 gives broad rights to the SE to redetermine the current pricing and subsidy structure of the energy chain, comprising electricity and gas.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Pablo Arrascaeta, Daiana Perrone, Rocío Valdez, and/or Victoria Barrueco.

President Javier Milei Omnibus Reform Bill

On December 27, 2023, Argentine President Javier Milei sent to the Congress an omnibus reform proposing far-reaching changes with respect to the matters described below.

  • Creation of an Incentive Regime for Large Investments: The bill creates the so-called "Incentive Regime for Large Investments", through which the holders and/or operators of large investments in new projects or expansions of existing ones of certain sectors (including agribusiness, infrastructure, forestry, mining, oil and gas, energy, and technology) that adhere to such regime will be entitled to tax grants, customs and FX benefits, among others, and long-term stability in such matters.
  • Introduction of changes in Public Works Concession regulation: Relevant amendments to the public works concession regime of Law No. 17,520 are contemplated, providing broad provisions with respect to the incorporation of sole purpose investment vehicles (SPVs), financing parties protection, arbitration resolution mechanisms, covenants of the State, and the possibility of presenting infrastructure projects by initiative of the private sector.
  • Amendments to the Electric Energy Regulatory Framework: The National Executive Power is empowered until December 31, 2025 to reform the electricity regulatory framework (Laws No. 15,336 and 24,065). Such changes shall conform the following guidelines: the right to freely negotiate export/imports electricity agreements; promote competition and the expansion of electricity markets; ensure that electricity transactions are based on economic rules; provide for transparency on price and rate calculation mechanisms; and foster the expansion of the transmission infrastructure.
  • Energy transition and reduction of GHG emissions : Within the framework of compliance with the Greenhouse Gas ("GHG") emissions targets committed by Argentine under the Paris Treaty, the National Executive Power is empowered with the right to assign GHG emission rights to each economic sector, set annual limits compatible with international commitments, monitor and penalize non-compliance with emission targets, and establish an emission rights market for the trading of surpluses of those who comply with their targets. The National State will provide private companies, the public sector and other organizations with the appropriate conditions and instruments to achieve these goals and access climate financing facilities.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Daiana Perrone, Milagros Piñeiro, Pablo Arrascaeta, Florencia Martínez Trobbiani, Rocío Valdez and/or Victoria Barrueco.

Argentina declares emergency in energy sector

The recently elected Administration has declared the energy sector emergency. The measure was adopted by emergency decree No. 55/2023 (“Decree 55”).

Additionally, Decree 55 orders the gas and electricity regulatory bodies to undertake an integral rate review, in turn authorizing temporary rate hikes.

Further, Decree 55 entrusts the Secretary of Energy (“Secretary of Energy”) to establish a comprehensive governmental program with respect to power generation, transmission and distribution, and gas production, transportation and distribution, with the end-goal of establishing a pricing criteria based on market conditions and free access rules, while maintaining revenue levels in real terms and covering investment needs.

Finally, regulatory bodies ENARGAS and ENRE are intervened while their directors are appointed through a public contest.

Key aspects of Decree 55 are as follows:

I. Considerations of Decree 55

Decree 55 seeks to adopt urgent measures in view of the high risk of natural gas and electricity energy shortage to users all around the country, while assuring a better and more efficient service.

In a general way, Decree 55 also recognizes that gas and electricity public utilities associated infrastructure is becoming obsolete, namely because the lack of grid expansion programs.

It also added that power transmission lacks capacity, leading to curtailment. Moreover, it recognizes that the pricing criteria and current remuneration schemes do not have the adequate signs for new investment, nor promote a market-term among the industry participants.

With respect to natural gas transportation infrastructure, it is noted that local production of natural gas in northern Argentina and the availability of the resource imported from Bolivia have decreased, thus leading to potential shortages.  Therefore, the need for the reversion of the Northern Gas Pipeline is highlighted, to guarantee gas supply on that area, which is critical to lithium and other industries too.

II. Relevant provisions of Decree 55

  1. Powers of the Secretary of Energy: The Secretary of Energy is empowered with elaborating an overall program with respect to the activities mentioned before, with the objective of establishing a rate and pricing criteria under conditions of competition and free access, maintaining in real terms the levels of income, covering investment needs, and guaranteeing a secure and continuous public utilities.
  1. Rate adjustment and temporary increases: Gas and power regulators ENRE and ENARGAS must start revising gas and electricity rates, and by December 31, 2024, a new rate scheme should be in place. Temporary increases are permitted.
  1. Intervention of ENRE and ENARGAS: The ENRE and ENARGAS are intervened until their vocals are appointed. Broad powers are given to the intervenors, who will be appointed by the Secretary of Energy.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Daiana Perrone, Pablo Arrascaeta, Milagros Piñeiro, Florencia Martínez, Rocío Valdez and/or Victoria Barrueco.


News in the hydrocarbons sector: The establishment of the National Program for the Measurement and Reduction of Fugitive Emissions Derived from Hydrocarbon Exploitation and Production Activities

On December 1, 2023, the Secretary of Energy published Resolution 970/2023 (the “Resolution”) that establishes the “National Program for the Measurement and Reduction of Fugitive Emissions Derived from Hydrocarbon Exploitation and Production Activities” (the “Program”).

The Program aims to:

  1. Promote actions for detecting, measuring, quantifying and validating fugitive emissions in hydrocarbon exploration and production activities;
  2. Organize and systematize the information obtained from the measurements made; and
  3. Encourage the implementation of plans for mitigation and reduction of fugitive emissions derived from hydrocarbon activities.

The obligated parties -individuals and/or legal entities- must submit to the Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons of the Nation:

  1. An Annual Fugitive Emissions Measurement Plan; and
  2. A five (5) year Comprehensive Plan referred to the reduction of fugitive emissions, in order to implement specific measures that prioritize the efficiency and use of the gas resource.

The information arising from the above-mentioned plans will be published on the website of the Secretary of Energy.

The regulated entities that have new facilities shall tend to the incorporation of good practices and management actions, appropriate for minimizing fugitive emissions produced from the planning and design stage of such facilities.

It is important to mention that the deadlines for compliance as well as any other aspect related to the implementation of the Resolution shall be subject to the regulation to be issued accordingly.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Pablo Arrascaeta, Milagros Piñeiro, Rocío Valdez and/or Victoria Barrueco.

The Secretary of Energy establishes new charges for large consumers

On December 5, 2023, the Secretary of Energy published Resolution 976/2023 (“Resolution 976”), which establishes new charges for the Large Users of the Wholesale Electricity Market (“WEM”) and the Wholesale Electricity Market of Tierra Del Fuego System (“WEMSTDF”), that are supplied by the respective distribution companies.

The most relevant aspects of Resolution 976 are outlined below:

I. Scope and effectiveness

Resolution 976 is applicable to Large Users of the WEM and WEMSTDF that are supplied by the relevant distribution company. Resolution 976 shall come into effect starting on February 2024.

II. Charges included in Resolution 976

  1. Stabilized Charge

The Stabilized Charge will be calculated as the difference between the Average Energy Price of the WEM and the sum of the Power Reference Price (POTREF), the Stabilized Energy Price (PEE) and the Stabilized Transportation Price (PET) established by Resolution 884/2023, applicable to the whole demand characterized as GUDIs, except for public education and health establishments.

  1. Capacity Adjustment Charge

The Capacity Adjustment Charge will be determined based on the difference between the Monthly Reserve Price and the stabilized Power Reference Price (POTREF) and applied to the difference between the maximum and average requirement of Large Users.

III. Undersecretary of Electric Power to adopt complementary measures

The Secretary of Energy empowers the Undersecretary of Electric Power to dictate any complementary regulation that may be required to apply Resolution 976.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó, Daiana Perrone, Luciana Tapia and/or Victoria Barrueco.


Argentina’s National Strategy for the Use of Carbon Markets

On November 14, 2023 the National Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development published Resolution 385/2023 that approved the “National Strategy for the Use of Carbon Markets” (“ENUMeC” for its Spanish acronym, Estrategia Nacional para el Uso de los Mercados de Carbono).

ENUMeC aims to promote the implementation of carbon markets as one of the carbon pricing mechanisms to contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the national territory.

As of today, Argentina does not have a national legal framework to implement the use of carbon markets. In line with this, the ENUMeC establishes 9 key points and 63 actions necessary for the implementation of carbon markets and establishing a framework that encourages and promotes the development of these markets.

The ENUMeC reaches subnational, national and international carbon markets, new and existing carbon markets, as well as regulated and voluntary carbon markets and covers all sectors and greenhouse gases of the National Inventory.

The implementation of ENUMeC is based on the following key points, from which the specific actions are derived:

  1. Climate financing;
  2. Participation in regulated carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement;
  3. Promote participation of the private sector in voluntary markets;
  4. Generate Non-Commercial Approaches under the scheme of Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement;
  5. Assist subnational governments in the implementation of market schemes for their climate change mitigation plans;
  6. Contribute to strengthen and finance climate change;
  7. Develop national and sub-national abilities for the implementation of carbon markets;
  8. Promote environmental integrity in the implementation of carbon markets; and
  9. Guarantee national and regional interests within international negotiations.

ENUMeC is considered a road map for the effective and coordinated implementation of carbon markets in Argentina. Its implementation will require consensus and agreements among national, provincial, public and private actors.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Daiana Perrone, Rocío Valdez and/or Victoria Barrueco.

Argentina launches call for expressions of interest for energy storage proposals

The Secretary of Energy has launched a call for expressions of interest for battery energy storage systems (“BESS” and the “BESS EOI”).

The announcement was made by Resolution 906/2023, published on November 8, 2023.

The BESS EOI is framed within the energy transition plans to 2030-2050 recently approved by the Government (for remarks on these documents, click here), which, among other targets, aims to continue developing the renewable power share and promote the installation of new BESS facilities.

With Argentina being a major source of lithium carbonate for lithium-ion batteries, and one of the largest global lithium supplier, BESS EOIs which propose ways to integrate a national supply chain into project delivery will be “valued”.

BESS EOIs shall be submitted no later than 120 days following the enactment of Resolution 906/2023 (i.e., March 7, 2024), and interested parties are being invited to propose projects encompassing the financing, construction and management of BESS facilities in the wholesale electricity market. The projects could be for optimizing generation dispatch, providing power reserve services or other mechanisms proposed.

Moreover, the BESS EOI sets forth that the Secretary of Energy will approve specific regulation addressing pricing of energy and availability, as well as charge and discharge cost hedging, and other ancillary services included in each BESS.


For additional information, please contact Nicolás Eliaschev, Javier Constanzó and/or Rocío Valdez.