BUENOS AIRES, July 30 (Reuters) - Protests that briefly disrupted production in part of Argentina’s main shale oil producing region have ended and operations are back to normal, state-controlled energy firm YPF said on Thursday.
Demonstrators from the local Zonal Xwanco and Campo Maripe communities late on Wednesday lifted their blockades on access roads to several drilling installations in the Loma Campana field, which YPF is exploiting with Chevron Corp.
The disruption caused a production loss of 10,000 barrels of oil and about 1.5 million cubic meters of gas, YPF said.
“Today, Loma Campana is operating normally,” a YPF spokesman said.
The communities were protesting over their territorial claims to the Loma Campana field, which lies in southern Neuquen province.
Argentina’s fledgling shale industry produces just 45,000 barrels of oil per day, and the formations under the wind-swept plains of Patagonia may hold some of the largest unconventional reserves in the world.
Latin America’s third largest economy wants to ramp up its shale output to reverse an energy trade deficit that is sapping foreign reserves, but needs to secure an estimated $200 billion in investments over the next decade to exploit its resources. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Paul Simao)