September 15, 2019 / 3:44 PM / a month ago

Argentina's YPF reports well fire after leak at Vaca Muerta gas field

SANTIAGO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Argentina’s state-controlled oil company YPF said a gas well caught fire at its vast shale oil and gas formation of Vaca Muerta early on Sunday following a gas leak on the previous day.

The cause of the leak and fire, in the LLLO X-2 well in the Loma La Lata West gas field in the southern Patagonian region of Neuquen, are still unknown, YPF said in a statement.

“No injuries have been reported and two firefighting teams with 12 firefighters each have been deployed to the area,” it said. More resources will be added over the course of the morning,” it added.

A spokesman for the company told Reuters that production was only affected in the burning well. It said it had set up a security perimeter of one kilometer around the area.

YPF is the main operator in Vaca Muerta, which represents the world’s second-largest gas reserve and the fourth-largest of unconventional oil.

According to the Ministry of Energy, Vaca Muerta may allow the country to eliminate its energy deficit this year and achieve a surplus in 2020 while also allowing an increased inflow of much-needed U.S. dollars to the country.

Late last month, YPF said the recent depreciation of Argentina’s peso and President Mauricio Macri´s decision to freeze fuel prices for 90 days to avoid further jumps in the inflation rate had increased the risk of expenses outpacing revenue. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski, Writing by Aislinn Laing Editing by Paul Simao)

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