YPF SA, Argentina’s biggest energy company, rose the most in almost five months after it said Chevron Corp., the second-biggest U.S. oil company, will be the first major crude producer to partner with it to develop shale oil and natural gas.
YPF gained 8.3 percent to 114.80 pesos at 3:15 p.m. in Buenos Aires. The stock earlier rose as much as 10 percent to 116.50, the biggest intraday increase since Nov. 23.
Miguel Galuccio, chief executive officer of YPF, and Ali Moshiri, Chevron’s head of Latin America, Middle East and Africa, visited the Patagonia shale formation yesterday, the Buenos Aires-based company said late yesterday in a statement. Moshiri was “surprised” with the advanced state of YPF’s exploration project, the Argentine company said in the statement.
“The news saying Chevron will finally seal its $1.5 billion deal with YPF has indeed triggered this rally because it isn’t any company, it is Chevron,” Carlos Aszpis, an analyst at Schweber & Cia. Sociedad de Bolsa, said by telephone from Buenos Aires. “Argentina just needs more companies like Chevron trusting in the country.”
Moshiri and Galuccio in December signed an agreement to negotiate final terms for YPF to transfer a 50 percent interest in the fields Loma de la Lata Norte and Loma Campana. The fields for the $1.5 billion joint venture comprise an area of 290 square kilometers (180 miles) in southwestern Argentina.
Alejandro Di Lazzaro, a YPF spokesman, declined to comment in a phone interview from Neuquen on reasons for YPF’s rally.
YPF said it is pumping 7,000 barrels of oil a day, up from 4,000 in January. Vaca Muerta, which means “dead cow” in Spanish, holds at least 23 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to a report by independent auditor Ryder Scott released in February 2012 by YPF. Argentina holds the world’s third-largest shale gas reserves, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.