Petronas in RM9.55bil tie-up with Ar­gentina’s YPF

Group to part­ner Ar­gentina’s state-con­trolled en­ergy firm YPF

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page -

BUENOS AIRES: Ar­gentina’s state-con­trolled en­ergy com­pany YPF and Petro­liam Na­sional Bhd (Petronas) are form­ing a joint ven­ture to in­vest US$2.3bil (RM9.55bil) over the next four years in the coun­try’s Vaca Muerta shale oil fields, the pres­i­dent’s of­fice an­nounced.

Petronas would have an equal stake in the pro­ject through its sub­sidiary Petronas E&P Ar­gentina SA, the pres­i­dency said in a state­ment. Petronas has not yet com­mented on the an­nounce­ment.

The Bel­gium-sized Vaca Muerta de­posit, lo­cated in west­ern Ar­gentina, is re­garded as hav­ing the world’s sec­ond-largest shale gas and fourth-largest shale oil de­posits.

“This in­vest­ment will al­low us to in­crease YPF’s petrol pro­duc­tion by 30% by 2022, which will rep­re­sent a to­tal in­crease for Ar­gentina of 15%,” the state­ment said.

The com­pa­nies’ ob­jec­tive is to reach a pro­duc­tion equiv­a­lent of 60,000 bar­rels a day by 2022, it said. To­tal in­vest­ment could reach US$7bil within 20 years, it said.

Suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have tar­geted Vaca Muerta to re­verse Ar­gentina’s en­ergy deficit but the plans have been hin­dered by a lack of in­fra­struc­ture.

YPF chief ex­ec­u­tive Daniel Gon­za­lez told Reuters last month the com­pany would bol­ster both un­con­ven­tional oil and gas pro­duc- tion by in­vest­ing be­tween US$4bil and US$5bil per year through 2022.

Petronas and YPF have al­ready part­nered in pi­lot ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion ini­tia­tives and will be­gin devel­op­ment of the un­con­ven­tional fuel pro­ject in the Amarga Chica block in the prov­ince of Neuquen.

The an­nounce­ment is good news for the be­lea­guered gov­ern­ment of Mauri­cio Macri, which was forced to seek an In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund bailout ear­lier this year.

Macri dis­cussed the deal in a meet­ing on Tues­day with YPF pres­i­dent Miguel Gu­tiér­rez, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ni­colás Du­jovne and En­ergy Sec­re­tary Javier Igua­cel, the pres­i­dent’s state­ment said.

— Reuters

Strate­gic tie-up: A drilling rig is seen at the Loma Cam­pana Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling site owned by YPF in the Patag­o­nian prov­ince of Neuquen. Petronas will have an equal stake in its joint ven­ture with YPF.

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