March 19, 2019 / 4:16 PM / 9 months ago

In Argentina, Vaca Muerta shale workers to strike over safety

BUENOS AIRES, March 19 (Reuters) - Oil workers in the Argentine provinces of Rio Negro, La Pampa and Neuquen, home to the sprawling Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas formation, said they will begin a 24-hour work stoppage at 8 p.m. Tuesday to demand better workplace safety.

The strike was called after the recent death of a worker in one accident and another that caused three injuries in Vaca Muerta, the local oil and gas workers union said in a statement.

“We demand that the necessary security measures be taken to guarantee the life and well-being of the workers,” said Guillermo Pereyra, head of the Private Oil and Gas Workers Union, in the statement.

The measure will affect the operations of companies operating in the area, chiefly Argentina’s state-controlled energy company YPF.

Vaca Muerta, about the size of Belgium, could house one of the biggest reserves of unconventional gas and oil in the world. The government of Argentina is counting on the formation to help the country regain its standing as a net energy exporter. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by David Gregorio)

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