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Argentina’s Production Minister resigns amid crossfire with Vice President Kirchner

energy Argentina Production Minister resigns Matías Kulfas. Photo: Casa Rosada
Matías Kulfas. Photo: Casa Rosada

The energy crisis in Argentina led to a new political incident this weekend, with President Alberto Fernández demanding the resignation of Production Minister Matías Kulfas.

In an off-the-record comment sent to the press, Mr. Kulfas suggested there was collusion between allies of Vice President Cristina Kirchner and Argentinian construction giant Techint in the tender to build a crucial pipeline connecting Buenos Aires with the Vaca Muerta gas fields in Neuquén province.

Gas from Vaca Muerta could replace the LNG and diesel imports that have become prohibitively expensive due to the rise in international energy prices, but the building of the pipeline has been delayed for years as the country tried to navigate its financial crisis.

The vice president and her allies at the Energy Secretariat immediately called out the rumors in public with a leaked screenshot of Mr. Kulfas’ original WhatsApp message, leading President Fernández to demand his cabinet minister’s resignation.

The decision to part ways with an ally such as Mr. Kulfas could be seen as an attempt of appeasement by President Fernández, amid efforts to mend fences between himself and the influential VP.