Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has appointed Dario Martinez, a lawmaker from the country's most important oil and gas province, as the new energy secretary in charge of reviving hopes of a shale revolution.

Martinez, a federal deputy from Neuquen province and a former manager of state-controlled oil company YPF, had been chairing the energy committee of Argentina’s lower house prior to the appointment.

He will replace Sergio Lanziani, whose background in nuclear energy was seen as relevant to ongoing talks with China over the construction of a fourth nuclear power station.