BUENOS AIRES, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Russia and Argentina signed a framework joint energy production agreement on Friday outlining plans to work together to exploit the South American nation's vast shale resources.
Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom signed the cooperation agreement with Argentina's state-controlled oil company YPF, statements from both companies said.
"The document outlines the key principles of the cooperation between the companies within a number of ambitious projects for hydrocarbon exploration and production in Argentina," Gazprom's statement said.
YPF and Gazprom signed a memorandum of understanding in April. Friday's signing confirmed the countries remained on track toward a deal.
Argentina is keen to reverse a costly energy deficit that will take as much as $200 billion in investment to erase, YPF has said. Key to the effort will be the development of the barely-tapped Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field in Patagonia.
The biggest joint venture signed by YPF so far was a 2013 pact with Chevron Corp, under which the two companies have put about $3 billion in the Belgium-sized Vaca Muerta formation. (Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Tom Brown)