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    Argentina Discovers Oil in Patagonia

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    Argentina's major oil company announces a significant discovery of 150 million barrels of oil. The president is optimistic as it may help boost the country's oil production.

    Argentina's biggest energy company, said on Tuesday it had made a large shale oil discovery in Neuquen province, Patagonia.

    [Sebastian Eskenazi, President, YPF]:
    "It is a discovery of 150 million barrels in an area of 350 square kilometers, 40 thousand of which we are starting to explore and develop. It is an unusual case, not only for the discovery, but because it is something new, something Argentina did not know it had."

    The discovery was formally announced at the Government House in Buenos Aires.

    The president hailed the find, which could eventually help put the brakes on falling oil production in the country.

    [Cristina Fernandez, President of Argentina]:
    "[This means] a 28 percent increase in the reserves of YPF and 6 percent in Argentina's general reserves of crude oil. This shows the magnitude the find and the importance it has, because it is not only an announcement of something that is already starting, but also underpinning it and raising it up is the growth of Argentina."

    Argentina has been forced to import more fuel to meet its needs in recent years.

    And critics blame government intervention in the market and political uncertainty for discouraging investment in exploration.

    Large deposits of natural gas have also been found in the country in recent months.