UPDATE 1-Argentina's YPF to join Venezuela's Deltana gas project

Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:13pm EDT

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CARACAS, June 14 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled energy company YPF will join Venezuela's offshore Deltana Platform natural gas project along with state oil company PDVSA and U.S. oil major Chevron Corp , Venezuela's oil minister said on Friday.

The Deltana Platform is a project to extract and export natural gas from fields believed to hold some 7 trillion cubic feet. Venezuela has made little progress in efforts to monetize offshore natural gas, and currently imports gas from neighboring Colombia even though it has much larger reserves.

Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who signed the agreement with YPF President Miguel Galuccio, did not provide details on what percentage stake the Argentine company would hold.

Galuccio said part of the gas produced in Deltana would be exported to Argentina, which has a natural gas deficit but is developing a regasification terminal that would allow it to import liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Venezuela still does not have natural gas export capacity despite a two-decade-old plan to build an LNG facility.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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