UPDATE 1-Argentina says, then denies, gas deal reached with Gazprom

miércoles 8 de octubre de 2014 16:32 GYT

(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...