Apache Aims to Resolve Neuquen Impasse

Neuquen Basin, Argentina
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US oil company Apache (NYSE: APA) will hold discussions with Argentina's Neuquen province to resolve issues related to the suspension of the company's environmental license, Apache public and international affairs director Bill Mintz told BNamericas.

Neuquen's production and tourism ministry took the action due to "important environmental damage," the provincial news service reported minister Marcelo Fernandez as saying. The suspension prohibits the company from operating at the deposits of Portezuelo, Aguada Quinchao and Meseta Buena Esperanza.

"Apache has a strong environmental record in all of our areas of operations and we expect to continue that record as we expand in Argentina," said Mintz, adding the issues related to the suspension occurred before Apache acquired the properties.

Apache closed a deal in April this year to buy the Argentine operations of US oil company Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) for US$675mn.

The suspension will remain in place until an integrated environmental plan is presented and approved by Neuquen's environment and sustainable development department and the corresponding environmental remediation is carried out, Fernandez said.

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