Exxon, Petrogas to Drill for Argentine Shale Oil After YPF Find

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, and Americas Petrogas Inc. (BOE) will jointly start drilling for shale oil in Argentina next month at the Vaca Muerta formation where YPF SA made its largest ever discovery.

Drilling in December at the site in Argentina’s Neuquen province “is our plan,” Barclay Hambrook, chief executive officer of Calgary-based Americas Petrogas, said today in an e- mailed response to questions, without giving further details.

Exxon announced in August a $76.3 million agreement with Americas Petrogas that gives the Irving, Texas-based oil producer a 45 percent stake in Petrogas’s 163,500-acre Los Toldos block in the Neuquen Basin. Los Toldos is in the same Vaca Muerta formation where Argentine oil producer YPF announced a find of 927 million barrels of oil equivalent on Nov. 7.

“Americas Petrogas is the operator of the Los Toldos blocks and operational information comes from them,” Patrick McGinn, a spokesman for Exxon, wrote in an e-mailed response to questions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Buenos Aires at rorihuela@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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