(Bloomberg) -- It wasn’t only Argentine securities that rallied on Wednesday. There was a spring in the step of business leaders gathered in the oil city of Neuquen after President Mauricio Macri’s pick of running-mate animated supporters hoping for his re-election in October.

The event, hosted at a casino and originally conceived to debate the future of shale fields in Vaca Muerta, ended up feeling more like a political celebration. Chatting on dim, carpeted corridors away from the lights of the conference room, oil executives said they could feel a surge of enthusiasm among peers. Fears of a return to the populist, interventionist ways of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seemed to be quashed, if only for a day.

Macri and his candidate for vice-president, Peronist Senator Miguel Angel Pichetto, both addressed the crowd, which included executives from drillers such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Norway’s Equinor ASA and billionaire Paolo Rocca’s Tecpetrol SA.

Everyone who spoke was in agreement on one thing: Vaca Muerta, where Argentina is trying to replicate the success of the Permian basin in the U.S., needs stability to prosper. Take that as a firm nod to Macri, who’s bet big on the play to boost exports and growth. “Predictability is essential,” said Nidia Alvarez Crogh, country manager for Equinor.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Gilbert in Buenos Aires at jgilbert63@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Cancel at dcancel@bloomberg.net, Bruce Douglas

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