Argentina's YPF seeks to multiply value on Vaca Muerta output surge -source

Credit: REUTERS/Martin Cossarini

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Argentina's state energy company YPF aims to quadruple its market value in the next four years, fueled by a plan to boost oil and gas production from the massive Vaca Muerta shale formation, a company source said on Tuesday.

One of the world's largest shale basins and located in northwestern Neuquen province, YPF looks to ride Vaca Muerta's continued growth to overcome a pronounced natural gas deficit that has forced the government to finance costly imports for power generation.

In December, Vaca Muerta posted record oil production of more than 380,000 barrels per day.

The source, who participates in company decision-making, spoke with reporters on background.

The source noted the company sees short-term gains by tapping the profitable shale basin, and further out wants to slim down its portfolio.

"In the medium term, we're going to focus on the divestment of conventional assets," the source added.

Company executives also expect more production from Vaca Muerta to eventually lead to natural gas exports, at a time when the key energy input is in high demand globally.

Vaca Muerta holds the world's second-largest shale gas reserves and fourth-largest shale oil reserves.

(Reporting by Candelaria Grimberg; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Michael Perry)

((david.aliregarcia@thomsonreuters.com; +52 55 5282 7151; Reuters Messaging: david.aliregarcia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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