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YPF S.A. (YPF) Signs Vaca Muerta Shale Agreement with Shell

Zacks Equity Research

Argentina’s state-controlled energy company YPF S.A. YPF recently signed a preliminary agreement with the Anglo Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDS.A. The move aims to ramp up the development of Vaca Muerta Shale’s oil and gas assets.

A pilot project has been planned in Bajada de Añelo area of Vaca Muerta Shale. The project will be equally owned by Shell and YPF. Shell will invest $300 million, in two phases, in the project. The deal is subject to approval of provincial authorities.

The preliminary deal was announced a month after the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri,signed an agreement with the oil companies aiming to boost investment in Vaca Muerta Shale. The deal is likely to reduce imports of costly gas and lower the nation’s energy deficit.

A total of $5 billion investment has been made to tap energy sources in Vaca Muerta shale by oil companies like Chevron Corp. CVX, BP plc BP and Total S.A. along with YPF and Shell.

YPF intends to invest $2.3 billion in Vaca Muerta Shale this year. Shell would be investing $300 million every year til 2020 in Argentina for exploration, refining, distribution and marketing of oil and gas. It is expected that that this deal will boost Shell’s strong and diversified portfolio of global energy by providing ample growth opportunities.

YPF is a vertically integrated company, engaged in the production, exploration, refining and marketing of gas and petroleum products. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Over the last three months, the Zacks categorized Oil and Gas Integrated - International  industry has recorded growth of 1.88%. However, shares of YPF have significantly outperformed the industry by registering growth rate of around 28%.

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