On September 4, as part of the Eastern Economic Forum currently under way in Vladivostok, Gazprom and the Argentine state oil and gas company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) entered into an agreement on joint exploration and production in Argentina.
A framework agreement was signed by Gazprom Chairman of the Management Committee, Alexey Miller, and YPF Chief Executive Officer, Miguel Galuccio. The document lays out the key principles of cooperation between the parties in future projects toward the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Argentina.
The focus is on several oil and gas blocks located in the Neuquén basin in south-west Argentina.
The agreement also provides for an assessment of a list of assets, after which the parties are to determine the first joint project and sign an agreement on the basic conditions for its implementation.
"The agreement signed today is of great importance for the strengthening of strategic collaborative relations between our two companies. Joint exploration and production in Argentina will provide a significant boost to the development of the oil and gas industry of the republic," said Gazprom's head, Alexey Miller, summing up the meeting.
Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales is Argentina's major oil and gas producer, and a leader in all segments of the industry (exploration, production, processing, distribution and sales). The company's share of the domestic market tops 43%. YPF operates three refineries, all of which are strategically located, as well as a network of more than 1,500 filling stations.
Argentina's proven reserves of natural gas total about 300 billion cubic meters, with around 300 million tons of oil. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Argentina ranks second in the world after China in potentially recoverable reserves of shale gas (more than 800 trillion cubic feet/22.6 trillion cubic meters), and has the fourth largest reserves of shale oil, estimated at 23 to 27 billion barrels (3.2 to 3.7 billion tons).
In April 2014, in the presence of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Gazprom Chairman of the Management Committee, Alexey Miller, and YPF Chief Executive Officer, Miguel Galuccio, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, which lays out the main areas of cooperation between the companies, including exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons within Argentina and in third countries.