Russia eyes Argentinian energy role

Latin American interest resurfaces after European anti-trust charges were raised against Gazprom.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Updated April 24, 2015 at 10:34 AM
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MOSCOW, April 24 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom said it signed a memorandum of cooperation in Moscow to work alongside its counterparts on Argentina.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met in Moscow with her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss bilateral relations. Gazprom said its management team signed the memorandum with Argentinian energy company YPF on the sidelines of the meeting.

Russia expressed interest in Argentina's energy market in 2012 following the nationalization of YPF. The following year, Gazprom won a tender to supply Argentina with 15 shipments of liquefied natural gas with a total of 1 million tons through 2015.

In the Latin American market, both sides have focused on development the Vaca Muerta shale site in Argentina's Neuquen province, which Buenos Aires wants developed with investor cash. The Vaca Muerta region is considered one of the best shale reserve areas in the world.

According to Gazprom, Argentina produces around 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 223 million barrels of oil.

Gazprom's announcement comes just days after it was accused by the European Commission of exploiting its market position in Eastern and Central Europe. European measures restrict companies from controlling both transit arteries and the reserves they carry.

The Kremlin said the European charges are without merit.

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