Argentina’s YPF and Malaysia’s Petronas expect to reach a final investment decision in the second half of 2024 on the first phase of a multibillion-dollar joint liquefied natural gas project in the South American nation.

The two companies signed last year an outline agreement to develop a large LNG export facility in Argentina, signing an initial land lease deal for an area of 1500 hectares with the port of Bahia Blanca, in Buenos Aires.

A five-phase project to integrate gas production, storage, pipeline transportation and liquefaction is seen as a path to monetise vast unconventional gas reserves through LNG exports.