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Argentina discovers in Patagonia largest gas reserve in 35 years

Wednesday, December 8th 2010 - 05:07 UTC
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President Cristina Fernandez made the official announcement at a ceremony in the Repsol-YPF headquarters President Cristina Fernandez made the official announcement at a ceremony in the Repsol-YPF headquarters

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was in charge of leading the Tuesday ceremony in which Repsol-YPF announced the discovery of a massive shale gas reserve, the largest in 35 years that could help the country reduce its imports of the fuel.

Cristina Fernández stated that “this is the first time Argentina will not lose gas reserves,” while pointing out that “this will make the country a more sustainable one”.

She stressed that “Argentina will not lose reserves for the very first time, for production has grown.” The reserves are estimated to last for the following sixteen years “which is an important thing to note, as we used to have six-year reserves”.

The ceremony was held at Repsol-YPF headquarters in Buenos Aires City, with the attendance of company Executive Vice-President Sebastián Eskenazi and President Enrique Eskenazi.

The deposit could hold 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Argentina has currently proven natural gas reserves of 16 TCF, according to a 2009 estimate by the US Energy Information Administration, and demand has risen strongly in recent years due to robust economic growth

Repsol-YPF found so-called tight gas reserves at the Loma La Lata area in the Patagonian province of Neuquen after its YPF unit drilled four exploratory wells in the region, according to a statement from Madrid-based Repsol. The company also said that it discovered so-called shale gas in the province.

“This is a new frontier,” Repsol Chief Executive Officer Antonio Brufau said of the discovery in an interview in Buenos Aires. The find “is very important for Argentina and YPF, and therefore for Repsol,” he said.

The find boosts Loma La Lata’s reserves five-fold, according to the Argentine government’s website. Repsol also plans to work with Brazil’s Vale SA to jointly produce gas for a potash mine Vale plans in Argentina, Eskenazi said at the news conference in Buenos Aires.

YPF, Argentina’s largest employer, produces and processes about 50% of the country’s oil and controls about as much of the domestic fuel market.

Drilling at the field also has uncovered some oil, according to Eskenazi. Shale gas is natural gas produced from shale, while tight gas is so named because it is difficult to access, trapped by surrounding rock and sand.

Categories: Economy, Energy & Oil, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • JB


    Dec 08th, 2010 - 03:35 pm 0
  • WestisBest

    Most apposite JB

    Dec 08th, 2010 - 05:13 pm 0
  • JB

    it doesn't say anything about being commercially viable though...

    Dec 09th, 2010 - 04:40 am 0
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