June 27, 2017 / 11:49 PM / 2 months ago

Pan American Energy says to invest $1.2 bln in Argentina in 2017

BUENOS AIRES, June 27 (Reuters) - Argentina-based Pan American Energy will invest some $1.2 billion in the country this year, with a focus on development of hydrocarbons, a company spokesman said on Tuesday.

About $400 million of that total is destined for oil and gas exploration in the sprawling Vaca Muerta shale formation in Argentina's southern Patagonia region, the spokesman said in a telephone interview after government news site Telam reported the company's investment plan.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri has sought to attract investment to Vaca Muerta to help close Argentina's costly energy deficit since taking office in late 2015.

Argentine Energy and Mining Minister Juan Jose Aranguren said in April that investment of between $6 billion and $8 billion had been confirmed in Vaca Muerta this year.

Argentina's state-run oil company YPF SA said in February it would invest $2.3 billion in the shale field this year. (Reporting by Walter Bianchi, writing by Hugh Bronstein, editing by G Crosse)

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