YPF said the deal is for shale reserves in more than 10,000 acres in Neuquen province. The development deal was described as the first shale gas project in the province.
"The agreement between both companies is fundamental for the development of shale gas in the country," YPF said in a statement.
The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates that Argentina has 774 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resources, the third most in the world. YPF announced the recent discovery of 150 million barrels worth of shale oil.
Neither company announced a reserve expectation, exploration agenda or financial terms of the MOU.
French energy company Total last year announced it entered the shale gas market in Argentina through the acquisition of four exploration licenses.