Argentine Billionaire Rocca Goes to Chubut to Sign Shale Deal

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Paolo Rocca, the Argentine billionarie, will arrive in Chubut province today to sign a 10-year extension for an oil area, the province Oil Minister said.

“Rocca is coming given the importance of the deal we are signing today,” said Ezequiel Cufre in a telephone interview from Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut. “We are giving his company an extension.”

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government seized a 51 percent stake in YPF from Spain’s Repsol SA in April 2012 to stem fuel imports that doubled to $9.4 billion in 2011 and cost the country $10 billion in 2012.

The agreement between Tecpetrol SA, a subsidiary of Tenaris SA, and the provincial government obliges Tecpetrol to drill conventional and shale wells in formation D-129. Tecpetrol will also have to bring a new rig before January or show it has acquired one to apply for a 200-day extension.

Tecpetrol owns 51 percent of the venture while Petrobras Argentina SA owns 25 percent and YPF the remainder.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net