Argentina's near self-sufficiency in fuel enables it to be one of the few nations which is apparently little worried by the current energy crisis.
Argentina's near self-sufficiency in fuel enables it to be one of the few nations which is apparently little worried by the current energy crisis. This is noticeable in the capital, Buenos Aires, where traffic flows without restriction and where city lights burn continuously and as brightly as ever.
Argentina currently produces about ninety percent of its annual consumption of 26 million cubic metres of oil, but Energy Secretary Miguel Revestido said recently that the country will be totally self-supporting by 1977.
As a first step, some 28 oil wills, shut down as uneconomic some years ago, are to be re-opened and off-shore exploration for oil and gas is to be stepped up this year.
However, the authorities have taken steps to try to reduce fuel consumption, notably among private motorists. A scheme operates under which cars with odd-numbered licence plates only may be on the roads on Thursdays and even-numbered plates on Tuesdays. Even so, there are exemptions from the rules - and most motorists appear to have sufficient reasons for exemption.
Argentina's reserves of natural gas are enough for the next thirty years and most of the electrical power consumed in the country is provided by hydroelectric generation.
Certainly, scenes of busy, traffic-filled streets, brightly-lit night spots and the busy international airport in Buenos Aires, give every indication that this is a country with few - if any problems with energy.