YPF Expected To Announce Major Oil Find

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Argentina's YPF, the South American country's largest oil and natural gas producer, is expected to announce a significant oil discovery in the Neuquen province and that announcement could come as soon as Tuesday, political officials said. Details are scant beyond that as YPF did not comment and officials did not say how big the discover is.

An Argentine newspaper reported that YPF has found high quality shale oil and that one well alone could produce up to 250 barrels a day and that output could eventually reach 2,000 barrels per day, according to MarketWatch. In December, YPF (YPF) said that it found 4.5 trillion cubic of natural gas in a province that neighbors Neuquen.

Neuquen is a key producing area for YPF, accounting for 54% of the firm's proven crude oil reserves and 73% of its proven gas reserves at the end of 2009, MarketWatch reported. Argentina's oil and gas output has been declining for several years due to maturing fields and an unfavorable business environment that it makes it difficult for producers to operate there.

President Cristina Fernandez has been looking to change that as part of a plan to drive the country's economic growth. Argentina produced about 796,000 barrels of oil per day last year, only modestly higher than what the country produced in 2009.

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