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YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio. Image courtesy of Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social/Flickr.

Argentina’s state-controlled YPF Thursday struck oil Thursday at its a shale oil field in the southwestern province Neuquen.

The discovery was made at the Agrio formation at the Filo Morado well.

YPF’s CEO Miguel Galuccio said at a press conference that production operations will be carried out from the neighboring province of Mendoza.

Neuquen holds a large shale deposit known as Vaca Muerta, the fourth largest shale oil and second largest shale gas reserve in the world.

YPF estimates that Vaca Muerta contains 661 billion barrels of oil and 1,181 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

YPF is banking on the potential of its shale assets to attract much needed investment, especially in the Vaca Muerta area in southern Patagonia.

Argentina is looking to boost its domestic oil and gas production to stop the strain importing energy is placing on central bank dollar reserves.

“We have discovered oil for the third time in a non-conventional site,” Galuccio said.

Galuccio said the company doesn’t have any information about the well’s production potential.