BUENOS AIRES, May 27 (Reuters) - Argentine state energy company YPF said on Wednesday it had signed a deal with local firm Petrolera Pampa extending their cooperation on developing a gas field in the Neuquen province which could mean at least $150 million more in investments.
In the first quarter of this year, the companies drilled 49 wells in the Rincon del Mangrullo zone, with an average daily production of 1.4 million cubic meters of gas per day, YPF said in a statement.
“This new deal contemplates the investment of $150 million more, with each company financing half of that, to develop infrastructure,” YPF said.
“This should allow us to double capacity to treat gas and to reach 4 million cubic meters per day.”
Argentina is seeking to ramp up investment in its energy sector to eradicate an energy deficit it started running in 2011 and which is draining its low foreign reserves.
President Cristina Fernandez’s leftist government nationalized YPF in 2012, seizing assets from Spanish energy major Repsol. Investment at YPF doubled in 2014, in part through debt issuance.
YPF said on Wednesday Petrolera Pampa would invest an additional $22.5 million to drill new wells.
“Total investment by both companies this year could reach $350 million,” YPF said.
YPF has said investing enough to secure energy independence will cost up to $200 billion in the next 10 years. (Reporting By Sarah Marsh; Editing by Christian Plumb)