New Rules Ensnare Oil Production in Argentina

Investors say Argentina's intrusive new rules for oil companies are worse than outright nationalization


A public relations adage holds that bad news is best released on Friday, so that it's published in the little-read Saturday papers. And it's a fair guess that Argentina's government had an inkling that new rules governing the country's petroleum industry and public shares in private companies, quietly made public on Friday, would not be warmly embraced.

The first set of rules, laid out in Presidential Decree 1277, labeled "Hydrocarbon Sovereignty", order the creation of a national hydrocarbon planning commission that will register all companies involved in the sector.