YPF, the national oil company that operates as a private company, has decided with the impetus of the Milei government and the president of YPF, Horacio Marín, a CEO of Tecpetrol from the Rocca family, a plan for the coming years where production will be concentrated in Vaca Muerta and other unconventional deposits such as Palermo Aike in the south of Santa Cruz. Shale is a great temptation since the profitability of the projects in Vaca Muerta or what may be Palermo Aike and offshore is higher than that of mature deposits such as those in the south of Chubut and the north of Santa Cruz.

This decision by the company has the objective, on the one hand, of lowering production costs and, on the other, of promoting an increase in hydrocarbon exports, the purpose of which is nothing more than to pay the odious external debt. That is to say, the new plan is aimed at increasing hydrocarbon extraction, but not for internal supply but for exports.

This return to neoliberalism of the 90s in the oil area was not only not questioned by any government after Menemism, but on the contrary, the commodity consensus deepened, today an extractive consensus, which in the case of oil was at the same time. service of the deregulation and privatization of the hydrocarbon market and obtaining foreign exchange for its export, together with an advance in outsourcing, labor flexibility and the precariousness of work.

The impunity of oil companies and the maximization of their profits was ratified in 2014 when the hydrocarbons law was voted, which grants numerous benefits such as concession terms of up to 45 years, the concentration of the market in a few companies, the reduction of royalties to 12%, the use of foreign courts to settle disputes and that does not establish any type of environmental control to one of the most polluting industries in history. These laws, such as the secret agreement with Chevron to advance fracking, were part of the policies of Kirchnerism, which implies, on the one hand, environmental destruction, and at the same time the continuity of imperialist looting.

This plan contemplates the abandonment, closure or sale of 55 mature oil areas in different provinces of the country, of which 3 are located in Comodoro Rivadavia: Campamento Central; Escalante-Trébol and Restinga Ali. “Mature deposits” are those that have already passed their “optimal production” peak. The company’s withdrawal announcement has already had effects, since, for the period of 90 days, AESA stopped two drillers, Venver stopped two pulling rigs and San Antonio Internacional (SAI) stopped one pulling.

Comodoro Rivadavia: city of oil or black gold industry enclave occupies a central place in the city, it is the sector with the greatest weight in terms of job generation among 20% ​​or 22% of employed workers, it was declared “Capital Nacional del Petróleo”, its history, once again, is closely related to the ups and downs of the oil industry and in particular to the YPF company.

To carry out this emptying, which threatens the job stability of more than 5,000 workers, oil workers, truckers and construction workers in the San Jorge Gulf Basin. YPF hired the consulting firm McKinsey, known for restructuring large companies with layoffs and job insecurity. The decision to abandon the 3 areas in Chubut threatens 2,650 workers who work for YPF and its third parties.

What is known through the media about the agreement between YPF and the general secretary of the Private Oil and Gas Union, the national deputy Loma Ávila del Pro, is that there would be continuity for 90% of the workers, that is, there will be layoffs. . In addition, the company wants to promote an early retirement plan, voluntary retirements, and suspensions for a period of between 90 and 120 days with the payment of 80% of the workers’ salary, until another company takes over the abandoned area, maintaining the seniority after the transfer. This agreement once again leads to workers losing in the face of this decision that seeks to maximize YPF’s profits.

For their part, the Patagonian governors who formed the alliance of the United Provinces of the South recently in Puerto Madryn are analyzing jointly suing YPF for the decision to withdraw from the exploitation of traditional wells in the region, claiming that the abandoned areas are have been ceded to the provinces. According to different media, there are advanced negotiations with the governor of Chubut, Ignacio Torres so that the province does not object or complicate the transfer of conventional areas to smaller operators such as Capsa-Capex, and the Neuss Group. It is noted that Torres asked the state-controlled oil company for funds to carry out a series of infrastructure works in Chubut so as not to take this dispute to court.

The other problem that arises from YPF’s decision is the environmental liability since Comodoro has more than 4 thousand poorly sealed wells. The pollution and ecological damage that the entire exploitation chain entails. Since it pollutes sky, land and water, and affects both biodiversity and human health. Oil marked the pulse of the community in every imaginable dimension. It is enough to walk around the city to observe its urbanization, capriciously sculpted from the interests of the oil industry. By Cerro Chenque, Comodoro Rivadavia is separated (in the literal sense) into two cities: on one side, the commercial center of the city, and on the other, the “Northern Zone” of the city, related to oil exploitation.

The ‘Central Camp’ area is the one that involves the urban radius and the one that causes the most visible effects, due to the existence of around 2,000 wells, mostly inactive, corresponding to only this company, YPF. Most of the facilities are located in the northern area of ​​the city, based on the link between the deposits and the population growth itself. For example, there are poorly sealed wells in Bella Vista and Restinga Alí. Environmental impacts must also be measured in the number of precariously covered dry pools, in compliance with lax regulations that existed until the 1990s. Added to this are abandoned pipelines, disused tanks and the necessary tracking of radioactive material. that was driven through the area.

Against these policies of looting and exploitation, the national deputy of the PTS Left Front, Nicolás Del Caño, raised “the need to advance in a comprehensive nationalization of all energy resources, in order to develop a rational plan, discussed with the communities, with the workers, with the specialists, the scientists from our public universities. A rational plan that is based on the needs of the population, of the great working majorities, and that is not based on delivering more benefits to multinationals.”

The delivery of hydrocarbon resources, with Vaca Muerta as an emblem, is the great hope of the entire capitalist regime. In the opposite direction, the Left and Workers Front proposes the nationalization of the entire hydrocarbon industry under the control of the workers. Along with this, it is necessary that all workers must be under the same agreement, as well as all workers dismissed by YPF must be reinstated. And that a plan be made under the control of the workers and specialists of the university and CONICET to carry out environmental repair in all the neighborhoods and territories that were affected by the exploitation of YPF and that until now have not had any favorable response or of the provincial State, nor of the company itself.

Source: www.laizquierdadiario.com

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