Governance of the natural gas sector in Argentina is at an incipient stage. The oil and gas sector developed under a centralized management structure in which a relatively insulated government imposed policy on the sector. That structure is well-developed, even if unstable and characterized by lack of credibility. The traditional unilateral government control of the sector is not appropriate for creating a favorable investment climate for the high-cost, high-risk investments required in shale gas or for managing the protests by civil society actors that have erupted against fracking. But the creation of governance as a replacement for government control is only beginning and faces many obstacles to its full development. The evolution of governance will have a major impact on the development of the country's shale gas resources. Consequently, the full development of Argentina's shale gas potential is problematic.
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