Argentine Industry Minister Debora Giorgi and the CEO of Ecuadorian state oil company Petroamazonas, Oswaldo Madrid, agreed to make further strides to develop the hydrocarbon industry in both countries, officials said.

The CEO of YPF Holdings, Guillermo Jalfin, also participated in the meeting since one of the goals was to analyze various strategic partnership alternatives linking the Argentine state-controlled oil company and Petroamazonas.

Giorgi and Madrid stressed the importance of an oil and gas industry in which resources are developed "by and for the (Latin American) region," and underscored the need to continue with a partnership process that would also include other regional companies, the Argentine Industry Ministry said in a statement.

"The goal is to foster the region's productive integration through partnerships among oil companies, enabling the development of suppliers, job creation and the recovery of technological sovereignty," Giorgi said.

The pursuit of closer ties comes in the wake of the Argentine minister's recent trip to Ecuador, where she signed an oil-sector cooperation agreement with Ecuadorian authorities.

For his part, Madrid said "the idea is to strengthen ties and synergies between the two companies and seek opportunities for joint development" of projects.

During his visit, he toured the massive Vaca Muerta shale formation in the southern Argentine province of Neuquen, where YPF has already begun developing non-conventional gas reserves.

Petroamazonas currently accounts for 80 percent of crude production in Ecuador and plans to invest nearly $3.4 billion in the Andean nation in 2014. EFE