Argentina state oil producer YPF announced on Sunday it had made a discovery of 'tight gas' in the western Argentine province of Mendoza. The find by the Paso de las Bardas Norte xp-37 exploration well has a potential 25 million barrels equivalent of recoverable resources, the company said in a statement.
There was also important potential for oil, it added. Tight gas is a type of hydrocarbon found in reservoirs formed by rocks of low permeability.
Gas production infrastructure is already in place in the area, allowing for immediate production, said YPF.
The discovery, if the geological model is confirmed, would increase hydrocarbon reserves in Mendoza province by around 10%.
The Paso de las Bardas Norte well, which reached a depth of 2.784 meters, is in the initial phase of evaluation, contributing at least 70,000 cubic meters of gas. The field has a surface area of 125,000 square kilometers and is around 200 kilometers to the south of the city of Malargüe.
The operation is controlled entirely by YPF, who in recent months have confirmed the discovery of hydrocarbons in Mendoza, Río Negro and Chubut provinces.
YPF, which was seized in 2012 from Spain's Repsol and nationalized this year, saw its production of hydrocarbons jump in 2013, thanks in part to its vast Patagonian shale oil and gas formation Vaca Muerta.
A US Department of Energy report has shown that Argentina has more natural gas trapped in shale rock than all of Europe, a 774-trillion-cubic-feet bounty that could transform the outlook for Western Hemisphere supply.