Argentine Oil Firm in Shale Cooperation Talks with Chevron

YPF chief executive Miguel Galuccio discussed working together on tertiary recovery projects and unconventional deposits in the Neuquen province oil and gas basin with Chevron's Latin America and Africa director, Ali Moshiri, the Argentine company said in a statement.

Nationalized Argentine oil firm YPF said Friday that it held talks with U.S. company Chevron Corp. (IW 500/3) on cooperation in the development of Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas reserves in western Argentina.

YPF chief executive Miguel Galuccio discussed working together on tertiary recovery projects and unconventional deposits in the Neuquen province oil and gas basin with Chevron's Latin America and Africa director, Ali Moshiri, the Argentine company said in a statement.

"We talked about cooperation options. Chevron is keen to form joint projects, and we want to partner with the power and experience of this global leader," said Galuccio.

"The unconventional (oil plays) can revolutionize the energy paradigm in Argentina as they have in the United States," Moshiri said.

"Unconventional" refers to oil and gas deposits like oil shale, where the hydrocarbons are tapped not by conventional wells but instead must be released by methods like fracking, designed to free the reserves by fracturing the source rock.

Galuccio said Argentina has the world's third-largest shale-based, unconventional hydrocarbon resources, after the United States and China.

Chevron is already exploiting old conventional oil fields in Neuquen province. In an April report it said it planned to drill two exploratory wells this year in Vaca Muerta.

In May the Argentine government seized YPF from Repsol, accusing the Spanish oil giant of allowing oil and gas production to lapse, forcing the country's oil import bill to rise.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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