BUENOS AIRES, April 19 Argentina has created a
fund of up to $2 billion to help develop the country's
7.4-million acre Vaca Muerta shale field, the government
announced in its official gazette on Friday.
The funding will come from central bank reserves, which the
government also taps periodically to make debt payments.
The development of Vaca Muerta, which means "dead cow" in
Spanish, is still in the preliminary stages.
Argentina's state-controlled energy company YPF
, U.S. companies Apache Corp and Exxon Mobil
and Canada's Americas Petrogas hold exploration rights
on nearly 80 percent of the site, according to information
compiled from the companies and analysts.
The shale field has caught the attention of investors since
it may hold one of the world's biggest unconventional energy