UPDATE 1-Argentina says, then denies, gas deal reached with Gazprom
(Recasts with YPF statement, adds Argentine energy deficit background, details about Vaca Muerta shale formation)
By Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES Oct 8 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-run energy company YPF said on Wednesday it had not struck a confidential natural gas production deal with Russia's Gazprom despite a statement earlier in the day from the industry ministry saying that it had.
The ministry had said Cabinet Minister Debora Giorgi received assurances from Gazprom head Alexey Miller in a meeting this week that a "confidential" $1 billion agreement had been reached with YPF SA to explore for and produce gas in Argentina.
This came as news to YPF, which followed with a tersely-worded statement of its own.
"YPF would like to clarify that while it has conducted important meetings with Gazprom officials to analyze various possibilities for business and collaboration, neither a confidential deal nor agreement memorandum has been signed," it said.
"As a public company with shares traded in New York and Buenos Aires, YPF will in a timely manner inform its stockholders of any relevant development," the YPF statement added.
No one from Gazprom was immediately available for comment.
On Tuesday, the state-controlled Russian energy giant put a statement on its website saying that Miller met Giorgi in St. Petersburg. Continuación...