Argentina announces first shale discovery in Chubut province

Reuters

(Adds details of find, quote from YPF, in paragraphs 3-4)

BUENOS AIRES, May 21 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled energy company YPF has made the first shale oil and gas discovery in the Patagonian province of Chubut, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The discovery, in the San Jorge basin, is located more than 1,000 km (600 miles) southeast of the Vaca Muerta mega shale field in Neuquen Province.

It was the first discovery at El Trebol field in the D-129 shale formation in Chubut. The well that hit the find was 3,591 meters (11,781 feet) deep.

"The preliminary results are hopeful: daily production of 50 cubic meters of oil and water, and 12,000 cubic meters of gas," the company statement said.

Vaca Muerta, Spanish for "dead cow," field is thought to be one of the world's biggest shale reserves and could double Argentina's energy output within a decade.

The country needs foreign investment to develop the formation and has signed one major Vaca Muerta deal, a $1.24 billion joint venture with U.S.-based Chevron Corp.

Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. energy major Exxon Mobil Corp said it has made its first discovery of non-conventional gas and crude oil in Vaca Muerta.

(Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Andrew Hay and Mohammad Zargham)

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