Friday, November 27, 2009

Argentine Natural Gas Reserves Up

BUENOS AIRES, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Repsol's Argentine unit YPF (REP.MC)(YPFD.BA) announced an increase in its proven crude reserves of more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent on Thursday, bucking a downward trend in the country.

YPF, Argentina's biggest energy company, said it had also increased its contingent crude resources by 500 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) as part of a company drive to boost its reserves in the South American nation.

Contingent resources are subject to a final decision being made on whether to extract them.

"We've renewed projects that were already under way and launched new ones that have given us very good results in terms of oil and natural gas finds," YPF Chief Executive Sebastian Eskenazi said in a statement.

The company said it had invested some $3.75 billion in its exploration and production division over the last three years.

No significant new reserves have been found in 15 years in Latin America's No. 3 economy. Proven oil reserves fell 9 percent between 2001 and 2008, while proven reserves of natural gas sank 39 percent.

Oil and natural gas exports have plunged and drilling of exploratory wells has slumped due to the economic crisis that peaked in 2001/2002 and government price controls since then.

YPF, which controls more than half of Argentina's refining capacity and nearly 40 percent of its oil output, produced an averge 214,770 barrels of crude per day in 2008. (Reporting by Helen Popper; Editing by Jan Paschal) ((; +54 11 4318 0655;


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