YPF talks to Statoil on shale partnership -FT

Sun Dec 9, 2012 4:52pm EST

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Dec 9 (Reuters) - Argentine state-controlled energy company YPF is in talks to form a partnership with Norway's Statoil to develop YPF's shale reserves, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

YPF says it needs to invest over $30 billion in the next five years, $4.5 billion of which is to come from strategic partners, to help pay to develop Argentina's huge shale oil and gas resources.

The company is looking to raise cash -- working to also finalize deals with U.S. oil major Chevron and Argentina's Bridas Holding -- after Argentina's left-leaning government seized a majority stake in the company from Spanish oil firm Repsol.

A YPF spokesman told Reuters the company's chief executive, Miguel Galuccio, would meet Statoil executives in Europe on Monday, but he would not disclose details about the talks.

"I'm not just talking to Statoil about the Norwegian company's admirable ownership and governance model," Galuccio told the FT.

Galuccio, speaking at an investment seminar in London on Friday, said that he expected the company to finalize the deals with Chevron and Bridas before the end of the year.

Statoil did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on the meeting.

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