Argentine daily newspaper El Cronista on Monday reported that YPF will begin oil exploration in the Malvinas basin in February. The newspaper reports that exploration will begin 289 kilometres off the coast of Tierra del Fuego and cost U$ 150 million.
YPF spokesmen speaking to Mercopress said oil exploration is scheduled to take place in the Malvinas basin, but that “the exact date has yet to be defined.”
YPF belongs to the Argentine Eskenazi family and Spanish company Repsol. Exploration had been planned to begin last October. The exploration will be in waters of the Argentine Sea nearly 300 kilometres from Rio Grande, the capital of Tierra del Fuego province and 498 kilometres from Rio Gallegos, the capital of Santa Cruz province.
The company announced at the beginning of 2010 that it was going to commence off shore oil exploration in the Malvinas basin at an estimated cost of U$ 150 million, but it is expected that this figure will now be higher due to the delay in work starting.
The exploration is a joint venture between YPF, the Brazilian company Petrobras and Pan American Energy. The work is part of an exploration plan which will take place over the next five years, informs the newspaper.
The search is the southernmost venture of its kind in the country and the largest off-shore project Argentina has carried out.
Reports in Cronista, and newspapers based in southern Argentina, said the Normand Baltic and Normand Skarven tugs are expected to arrive in Puerto Deseado, before moving on to Comodoro Rivadavia to assist in the exploration. The Norwegian vessels should have reached southern Argentina by now but have reportedly been delayed in Brazil. YPF also told Mercopress, they are not sure of the exact date of the tugs arrival yet.
The drilling of the well Malvinas XI, will be carried out by the Stena Drillmax, drillship which has a water drill capacity of three thousand metres. Depending on the results of the first stage of drilling, decisions will be made regarding the second stage.