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By: Aldo Leporati
Argentina's state-run oil company YPF reached a preliminary deal with Royal Dutch Shell to develop a pilot program in Vaca Muerta (Both companies will take a 50 % stake in the Bajada de Añelo shale field), involving a $300 million investment from Shell. The agreement is subject to approval by provincial authorities, and Shell's investment will come in 2 phases. The definite terms would be agreed within 60 days and that the project would continue as a full-field development if the pilot is successful.
The deal comes after President Mauricio Macri reached an agreement with oil companies and unions last month to stimulate investment in Vaca Muerta, which his government hopes can narrow Argentina's energy deficit and reduce costly gas imports. Under the January agreement, Argentina guaranteed a subsidized natural gas price for production from new wells of $7.50 per million British thermal units through 2020, while labor unions signed on to more flexible contracts.
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