BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's state energy company, YPF, says it has acquired the local operations of Houston-based Apache Corp., making it the largest natural gas producer in the South American country.

A statement from YPF, President Miguel Galuccio says the $800 million deal will increase YPF's hydrocarbon reserves by 14% and its production by 15%.

A statement posted on oil and gas company Apache's website says the deal is worth $852 million -- a cash payment of $800 million plus the assumption of $52 million in debt.

YPF says it made a $50 million deposit Wednesday and will pay the rest over the next 30 days.

Argentina suffers from an energy deficit that forces it to import billions of dollars of fuel a year.

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