Russia is looking to expand its energy operations in Latin America, as the state-owned gas giant Gazprom is interested in joint exploration and production with Argentina’s largest oil and gas company YPF.
According to Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev, the company is eyeing Argentina’s Estacion Fernandez Oro field.
"We have a good project in the developmental stage, and we hope to sign the contract in the near future," Medvedev said, following his meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on January 23, according to RIA Novosti.
Argentina’s Estacion Fernandez Oro field, operated by state-run YPF, is the country’s third largest. According to U.S. statistics, Argentina’s total natural gas reserves amount to 316 billion cubic meters (11.1 trillion cubic feet), putting them at the world’s 37th largest.
In 2015, Gazprom, which controls 17 percent of the global gas market and 72 percent of Russia's total gas reserves, signed a cooperation agreement with YPF for joint exploration and production, and a memorandum for geological exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons, both in Argentina and in third-party countries. A finalized deal is expected to come early this year, possible at the next St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, to be held in May.
Gazprom is not new to Latin America. In 2013, it won a tender to deliver 10 batches of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for two Argentine companies, YPF and Enarsa, by 2015. In Venezuela, Gazprom has been involved in geological surveys at the San Joaquin, El Roble and Guario gas fields. Last year, the Russian company announced its interests in expanding operations in Brazil, in order to supply LNG to its market.