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Argentina Congress passes law aimed at luring foreign investment for oil, gas development

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina's Congress has passed an energy law aimed at luring foreign investment into its promising shale oil and gas.

The measure approved by the lower house Thursday cuts the minimum investment needed for energy companies to be exempt from import controls. It also sets new terms for concessions to 25 years for conventional energy and 35 years for shale.

Argentina has one of the world's largest deposits of shale oil and gas, but only a few companies have made commitments to develop the fields because many fear the government's interventionist energy policies.

Current concessions will not be affected. They include a deal by state-controlled YPF energy company with oil giant Chevron, which has committed to investing more than $1 billion in the Vaca Muerta deposit in Neuquen province.

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