Protests by indigenous groups threaten Argentina shale output -YPF

miércoles 29 de julio de 2015 16:34 GYT

BUENOS AIRES, July 29 (Reuters) - Argentina's unconventional oil and gas output is under threat from protests by indigenous groups blocking access to the country's main shale field, state-controlled energy company YPF said on Wednesday.

The Zonal Xwanco and Campo Maripe communities are protesting over their territorial claims to the Loma Campana field in the southern Neuquén province, which accounts for nearly all of Argentina's shale production.

YPF is exploiting that field together with Chevron Corp . Argentina is trying to ramp up exploitation of its vast but barely tapped Vaca Muerta shale formation to ameliorate an energy deficit that is causing financial strains.

"The production of 10,000 barrels of barrels of oil and more than 1.5 million cubic meters of gas is at risk if the protest carries on all of today," YPF said in a release.

The protest started on Tuesday morning.

"YPF considers it necessary for (the protesters) to end this kind of attitude that runs contrary to the interests of a country that today, in a complex international context, needs everyone to make an effort so it can once again become self-sufficient in energy." (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)