Russia confirms plans to sign energy memorandum with Argentina
MOSCOW, April 22 (Reuters) - Argentina and Russian state-owned gas producer Gazprom will sign a memorandum on Thursday, Kremlin adviser Yuri Ushakov confirmed on Wednesday.
Sources familiar with the situation said earlier that Argentine state oil company YPF was close to signing a memorandum of understanding for Gazprom to make energy investments in the South American country.
The memorandum is to be signed in Moscow during a visit by President Cristina Fernandez and YPF chief Miguel Galuccio, according to two Buenos Aires-based sources who asked not to be named and provided no details of the planned deal.
Ushakov did not elaborate, but said that Fernandez would meet the heads of Gazprom, Russia's top oil producers Rosneft and Lukoil as well as Rosatom later on Wednesday.
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. (Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Elizabeth Piper)
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