Majors eye Vaca Muerta opportunities

BUENOS AIRES, April 19, 2017 – Shell on Tuesday inaugurated an early production facility to process 10,000 boepd of shale oil and gas from its Sierras Blancas, Cruz de Lorena and Coirón Amargo Sur Oeste blocks.

The plant is expected to enable Shell to increase production by 2,500 bopd and take a step closer towards commercialising shale oil.

Since the beginning of 2017, several major operators have announced plans to further invest in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta formation, which contains one of the world’s largest shale deposits. The latest company to expected to expand its presence in that area is ExxonMobil.


Last week, during an event to promote investment in Vaca Muerta blocks, Neuquén province Governor Omar Gutíerrez met with ExxonMobil executives and discussed the super-major’s plans in Argentina.

According to a statement put out by the governor’s office, ExxonMobil is considering entering the Los Toldos 1 Sur block under a 35-year licence.

In addition, Governor Gutíerrez reiterated the company’s commitment to investing a total of USD 750 million in Vaca Muerta developments through 2017.

The governor also said that May would see the commencement of a production phase at one of ExxonMobil’s developments, likely the La Invernada-Bajo del Choique block, from which it plans to produce up to 5 mcm (177 mcf) per day within the next two to three years.

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