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The firms are now partners on multiple blocks in the North Argentina Basin. Fast-declining, older, unconventional oil wells require artificial lift experts to deal with and explore a population of miles-long horizontal wells that do not follow the established rules of thumb. After Gustavo Astie, executive manager for ­unconventionals at YPF, presented what he thought was an aggressive growth plan for the coming year to YPF management, he was asked: Would it be possible to go faster? A drive down a gravel road in the Loma Campana follows the steep early learning curve in the Vaca Muerta. It is easy to fixate on what it will take to extract huge volumes of oil and gas from the nearly impermeable rock within the Vaca Muerta.