BUENOS AIRES, May 23 (Reuters) - Argentina will slash the tariff it puts on the import of used oil exploration and drilling equipment to 7-8 percent from the current 27 percent in the coming days, Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren told reporters on Tuesday.
The move is part of Argentina's push for investment in its vast but largely untapped Vaca Muerta shale formation in Patagonia. Lowering operation costs in the remote area has been a major focus of the government.
"In the United States, because of the boom in unconventional exploitation, after 5 or 6 years, these kinds of equipment can be replaced by more efficient equipment, but they are available and we can use them," Aranguren said.
The government expects investment in Vaca Muerta to reach $15 to $20 billion annually from 2019 through 2014-25. The Belgium-sized formation is key to the country's effort at regaining energy self sufficiency after becoming a net oil importer in 2010.
Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Sandra Maler