Argentina's YPF says advancing in Vaca Muerta talks with Petronas

BUENOS AIRES Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:58pm EST

BUENOS AIRES Jan 29 (Reuters) - Argentina's YPF said on Wednesday it has advanced in talks with Malaysia's state oil company Petronas toward an investment deal to develop the Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field in Patagonia.

"We have advanced toward a future deal," YPF chief Miguel Galuccio told Reuters by e-mail from Malaysia, where he met with his Petronas counterpart.

It was the second meeting between Galuccio and Petronas President Tan Sri Dato'Shamsul Azhar as the two companies try to reach a Vaca Muerta deal.

YPF estimates the onshore Vaca Muerta deposit contains 661 billion barrels of oil and 1,181 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it one of the biggest shale reserves in the western hemisphere.

Despite Vaca Muerta's potential, only Dow Chemical Co and U.S. oil company Chevron Corp have agreed so far to invest in the project.

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

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