Argentina’s energy fortunes appear to have taken a turn for the better, with Repsol YPF claiming that 23billion barrels oil equivalent of shale-based hydrocarbons exist in the Vaca Muerta Basin.
Last November, the company indicated that it had discovered 927million bbl of recoverable oil and natural gas at Vaca Muerta – Neuquen Province.
Now it claims that the basin holds much bigger volumes of shale oil and gas than previously thought and that exploitation could swallow $25billion a year of investment.
Indeed, it has been claimed that Argentina’s unconventional oil and gas resources could “challenge” the US, such are the volumes.
However, realising the prize will be hugely expensive . . . thousands of wells will be required.
“If exploration proves successful in the Vaca Muerta formation and immediate intensive development began in the area, in 10 years its capacity could double Argentina’s existing gas and oil production,” Repsol said in a filed securities statement.
“This would require a vast investment push that would reach $25billion per year in order to develop all the existing prospective resources,” Repsol said in a securities filing.
Repsol said at least 100 more land-rigs will be needed, plus a major overhaul of the country’s existing petroleum industry.
Vaca Muerta’s shale resource has been barely tapped. Repsol has invested $300million to date and is planning 20 further wells this year.
Meanwhile, Americas Petrogas has reached 3,250m total depth with its Los Toldos Este vertical well targeting Vaca Muerta shales. The well has been cored and extensive logging operations are continuing.
This is the first well to be drilled under a farm-out agreement between Americas Petrogas and ExxonMobil’s Argentina business unit.