June 7, 2015 / 7:51 PM / 5 years ago

Argentina's YPF announces new shale gas discovery in Vaca Muerta

BUENOS AIRES, June 7 (Reuters) - Argentine state-controlled energy company YPF said Sunday that it turned up a new promising shale gas deposit in its giant Vaca Muerta field in the south of the country.

The find, in the southern province of Nequen, suggests there is likely much more gas in the vast but barely tapped Vaca Muerta field, YPF said.

“Initial results showed high gas productivity,” YPF said in a statement. “The La Ribera x-1 well had initial productivity of 43,000 cubic meters of gas per day with a thickness of 258 meters.”

The announcement follows YPF’s discovery of a conventional oil field in the southern province of Rio Negro with reserves of around 40 million barrels last month.

For the finds, YPF credited its exploratory push following the government’s expropriation of the company from Spain’s Repsol SA in 2012.

Latin America’s No. 3 economy is betting that boosting investments in Vaca Muerta will help it reduce energy imports, which have been draining its low foreign reserves.

Reporting By Nicolas Misculin, Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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