YPF is hiring from Nabors Industries of the US and Chinese energy major Sinopec a fleet of 14 drilling rigs to be employed in Argentina’s shale exploration programme.
The linchpin target is the Vaca Muerta formation in Neuquen Province where the resource is estimated to be 23billion barrels oil equivalent . . . roughly equal to remaining reserves on the UK Continental Shelf.
The Argentine national oil company said that these new contracts, which were awarded through private bid, will increase its fleet by 47%.
YPF said too that another 10 rigs will be sought early next year and each year thereafter to attain a total of 1,200 wells drilled per year within five years.
Miguel Galuccio, YPF’s CEO, said that the five-year exploration and development plan extends to 2017 and is expected to cost $37.2billion.
The plan is to hike Argentina’s oil and gas production by 29% and 23% respectively.
The rig leases from Nabors and Sinopec will cost about $10million per rig per year. YPF’s current fleet of 30 rigs is expected to cost $150million to run over the period.
Galuccio said too that YPF intended to encourage the development of a local rig manufacturing capability, rather than relying almost wholly on units hired in from overseas.
“It makes sense since each drilling rig costs between $18million and $20million, and we need 50 new rigs,” said Galuccio.
Other companies in the queue to hire land rigs to YPF include Trevi Group, Estrella International, Venver, Empa, Lupatech, San Antonio Internacional, and Drilling Logistics & Services.