Last week the government published the Decree 2229 which re-establish a series of benefits for the companies that conduct their exports through the ports located in the south of the Colorado river. Those benefits would comprise additional refunds in the export of products and raw materials from the Patagonia region included in the Law 23.018. Such law was enacted on December 1983, although it has been suspended until this new Decree.
The measure grants a refund of between 8% and 13% of the price of sale of the exported products, depending on the location of the port where the operation takes place. For example, the companies that make a sale abroad from Comodoro Rivadavia, in the province of Chubut, can request to the state a refund of 9% of the export value. In Rio Gallegos, in the province of Santa Cruz, that percentage increases to 12%, and in Ushuaia, in the province of Tierra de Fuego, 13%. The province of Rio Negro is also benefited. The Decree further includes the goods exported through domestic vessels departing from a port located in the south of Colorado river when later they are transferred to its final destination in a different port.
By a vague definition it is established that only the products native from the Patagonia, or manufactured therein can benefit from this regulation. Therefore, oil companies which export a portion of their production consider that they are able to request the refund for the oil they dispatch in the port of Comodoro Rivadavia. Within that group we can find Pan American Energy, the Chinese CNOOC, Bulgheroni Family, Tecpetrol and YPF. In particular, those companies have to sell abroad part of the crude Escalante they produce in the San Jorge Gulf basin, since due to its characteristics –heavy- cannot be processed in local refineries.