Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 10, 2010
Here's a prime example of how good old-fashioned American ingenuity is helping people around the globe. This good news story involves Argentina and the U.S. innovation that combines horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas locked in hard shale formations.
As reported by Associated Press, Argentina's YPF energy company announced this week that it has discovered 4.5 trillion cubic feet of proven shale gas reserves in Patagonia. The find expands the company's proven reserves from 6 to 16 years worth of natural gas, which should provide a major boost to Argentina's economy.
Argentina's economic growth has been limited due to constrained energy supplies. According to AP, the country has been importing natural gas from Bolivia and has forced factories and other large customers to stop operations to prevent consumers from experiencing blackouts.
Sebastian Eskenazi, executive vice president of YPF, said the practices used by companies to harvest unconventional gas deposits in the United States will be required to produce Argentina's shale gas. "This is the first discovery of this kind in South America," he added.
YPF, which is owned by Spain's Repsol energy company, says it will spend $140 million to find more shale gas deposits. With its partner, the Brazilian firm Vale S.A., a total of $1 billion will be invested to develop a new energy future for Argentina.
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