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BUENOS AIRES, May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. energy major Exxon Mobil Corp said it has made its first discovery of non-conventional gas and crude oil in Argentina's vast shale formation of Vaca Muerta.
Initial results at a well 4,570 meters (15,000 feet) deep produced an average flow rate of 770 barrels of oil per day, Exxon said in a statement late Tuesday.
The Vaca Muerta, Spanish for "dead cow," field in the southern Argentine region of Patagonia is thought to be one of the world's biggest shale reserves and could double Argentina's energy output within a decade.
Argentina is seeking financing and expertise to develop the formation and has signed one major Vaca Muerta deal, a $1.24 billion joint venture with U.S.-based Chevron Corp.
ExxonMobil is one of several other companies, including Total and Royal Dutch Shell, that have signed on to smaller projects. (Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Marguerita Choy)