BUENOS AIRES, May 9 (Reuters) - Argentina's state-controlled energy company YPF said on Friday it sees crude oil production increasing by 5 percent this year and natural gas output rising 18 percent, a day after reporting stronger-than-expected first-quarter results.
YPF, which was nationalized in 2012, said increased production this year was due to acquisitions and new unconventional production at its vast Patagonian shale oil and gas formation Vaca Muerta, or Dead Cow.
YPF Chief Financial Officer Daniel Gonzalez said he had "significant growth expectations for shale production". YPF is the main operator at Vaca Muerta.
YPF said on Thursday production of hydrocarbons rose 10.7 percent in the first quarter to 529,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day, as it reported a 129 percent jump in quarterly profit.
A U.S. Department of Energy report has shown that Argentina has more natural gas trapped in shale rock than all of Europe, a 774-trillion-cubic-feet bounty that could transform the outlook for Western Hemisphere supply. The country's shale gas reserves trail only China and the United States.
(Reporting by Alejandro Lifschitz; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and W Simon)
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