Related Articles
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

Reserves mess adds urgency to the need for reform

Repsol YPF's reserves write-downs in South America are not just a disaster for the company. Unless the region's governments take action, the reliability of natural gas supplies across the continent could be under serious threat. Robert Olson writes

THE 25 January announcement by Repsol YPF that it was downgrading some 25% of its proved reserves of oil and gas did not come as a complete surprise. The election of a government in Bolivia whose manifesto had included a promise to nationalise the country's oil and gas assets had already raised serious questions about the Spanish firm's reserves base. It had also all but killed off hopes of revising the country's onerous new Hydrocarbons Law, which increased wellhead taxes to 50%, from 18% under the previous regime. With a quarter of its proved reserves in Bolivia, Repsol YPF was far more exposed to the country than any of the other big investors – including Petrobras, Total and BG Group –

Also in this section
Serica sanguine on Iran sanctions
13 July 2018
The firm's historic links to Iran are in the spotlight as US sanctions resume
The return of cautious optimism in the North Sea
13 July 2018
The UK’s North Sea hub, braced for production declines, has received a boost from new investments and revived interest from the supermajors
China loans make Venezuela’s outlook more precarious
12 July 2018
Patience is wearing thin among both China and other trading partners