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By Eliana Raszewski
BUENOS AIRES, March 27 (Reuters) - Argentine state-controlled oil company YPF will invest some $2 billion over the next five years to carry out a desulfurization process in two of its refineries, three people with knowledge of the plan said on Wednesday.
YPF will initially invest more than $1 billion in its Mendoza province refinery and hire about 900 people to adapt the plant for the process, said the sources, declining to be named. The rest of the investment will go towards the company’s refinery in La Plata.
The process will allow compliance with “international standards requiring fuels to be more environmentally friendly,” said one of the sources, who is working on the project.
YPF has also carried out pilot tests for the improvement of oil recovery from conventional wells, known as tertiary recovery, two of the sources said.
For that, YPF ordered 10 mobile polymer plants, intended to improve oil extraction. Two of the plants are already in Buenos Aires port waiting to be transported to oil fields in Mendoza, Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces.
The polymer plants are due to start operating in the second quarter of the year, one of the sources said.
YPF declined to comment. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)