The EITI Board has approved Argentina’s application to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) at its meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Following the approval, Argentina, the third-largest economy in Latin America, becomes the EITI’s 52nd member country.
By joining the EITI, Argentina’s government commits itself to assuring full disclosure of information along its extractive industry value chain, from how extraction rights are awarded, to how revenues make their way through the government and how they benefit the public.
The government also pledges to work together with industry and civil society to ensure an informed debate about how its natural resources are being managed. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Argentina is required to publish its first EITI Report within 18 months of becoming a candidate, which is by August 2020.
“I congratulate Argentina on becoming a member of the EITI family,” said EITI Chair Fredrik Reinfeldt. “The country has large shale gas reserves, and the implementation of the EITI can help Argentina manage these resources to the highest standards.
“We look forward to working with stakeholders across the country to promote the sound governance of the extractives sector, as well as inform public debate and meaningful reforms,” the EITI chair said.
“Argentina has great potential both in oil and gas, and in mining,” said Argentina’s Secretary of Energy Gustavo Lopetegui. “The acceptance of our country as a member of the EITI is an important milestone. It commits us all – companies, national government, provinces and civil society – to work together for a more transparent industry that can be accountable to all Argentines.”
Argentina has the world’s second-largest shale gas reserves and the fourth-largest unconventional oil reserves, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
The country also has significant mining activity and mineral reserves, including copper, silver, lithium and gold. The development of these reserves will require large and continued investments in the coming decades.
Social and political conflict arising around large-scale mining and shale gas extraction sites represent a challenge that EITI implementation can help address through dialogue in the multi-stakeholder group, the EITI said in a statement.
“The EITI is an opportunity and a challenge that will help strengthen the confidence and participation of companies and civil society, so that mining activity contributes to the balanced development of communities both in the present and in the future,” said Secretary of Mining Carolina Sánchez.
Argentina applied for an adapted version of the EITI to take account of its federal structure. Each province owns and manages the natural resources in their territory. Argentina has therefore decided to implement the EITI in two phases. Phase one will involve the national government, the state-controlled oil and gas company, the industry and the civil society, while phase two is intended to include relevant provinces.
“Argentina’s entry to the EITI Standard is very important for the oil and gas industry,” said Ernesto López Anadón, President of the Argentine Institute of Oil and Gas. “Transparency is fundamental in the creation of shared value and in the sustainability of the industry,” Anadon said.