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In 2011, the Argentine energy industry was shaken by two game-changing developments. First, YPF, S.A. (YPF), then a subsidiary of Spain's energy conglomerate Repsol, S.A., announced on November 7, 2011 a supergiant oil and gas field discovery in the Vaca Muerta shale formation in the province of Neuquén, Argentina. The US Energy Information Administration believes that total technically recoverable hydrocarbons from Vaca Muerta could ultimately reach 16 billion barrels of oil and 308 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The announcement caused the American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) of YPF, traded in the New York Stock Exchange, to shoot up 13.36%. The administration of Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was however quick to throw cold water on the market's...

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