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Canada's Americas Petrogas Inc. (APEOF, BOE.V) said Monday it has discovered sweet light crude oil in the province of Neuquen in southern Argentina.
The company found 1,023 barrels of oil equivalent in the first of three exploration wells it is working on in the Rinconada Norte block in the Neuquen Basin.
The conventional oil was discovered in a joint venture with Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (GTE.T, GTE), Americas Petrogas said in a statement. Gran Tierra has a 35% participation in the project while the remainder belongs to Americas Petrogas.
"We are very excited about this new find on the first well of this three-well exploratory drilling program because of the strong production rates and possibility of significant commercial reserves. We are also optimistic about the prospects for the remaining two wells," Guimar Vaca Coca, managing director of Americas Petrogas Argentina, said in a statement.
Last month, Americas Petrogas said Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) has agreed to invest as much as $76.3 million to jointly explore for unconventional oil and gas in Neuquen.
Exxon will invest $53.9 million for exploration and $22.4 million if the companies proceed to the exploitation phase.
In exchange, Exxon gets a 45% stake in the project, with Americas Petrogas retaining 45% and the provincial oil and gas company, Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen, 10%.
Americas Petrogas shares traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange were up almost 3.9% at $1.88 Canadian dollars ($1.88), but still down from their 52-week high of C$2.99.
-By Taos Turner, Dow Jones Newswires; 5411-4103-6728; firstname.lastname@example.org