Tuesday, November 8th 2011 - 08:13 UTC

YPF announces a billion barrels shale-oil discovery in Argentina

Oil company YPF confirmed Monday the finding of its biggest oil discovery in Argentina yet to the Buenos Aires stock exchange. The discovery was made in the Neuquén province and is equivalent to 927 million barrels.

The volume is equivalent to two years of Argentine oil consumption

The nearly a billion barrels in unconventional energy resources found in Patagonia, more than double Argentina’s annual oil consumption.

The find at YPF Loma La Lata property in Neuquen province could eventually help put the brakes on falling oil production in Latin America's No. 3 economy, where energy demand is rising due to strong economic growth.

“This find will transform the energy potential of Argentina and South America, boasting one of the world's most significant accumulations of non-conventional resources,” a statement released by the company said.

Independent energy analyst Eduardo Fernandez said the 927 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) that YPF announced on Monday represented just over twice the country's annual oil consumption of between 400 million and 450 million barrels.

“This would be about two years worth of reserves. This is very good, but it doesn't resolve the country's energy problems,” he said.

The shale resources lie in a 428-kilometre square area at the Loma La Lata property in the southern province of Neuquen, where the company announced a large unconventional natural gas find nearly a year ago.

YPF said it was already producing about 5,000 boe per day in the area, adding it had also demarcated a new site nearby that “raised expectations of large volumes for future development”.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, Argentina's proved petroleum reserves in 2009 totalled 2.62 billion barrels.

Argentina has been forced to import more fuel to meet its needs in recent years and critics blame government intervention in the market and political uncertainty for discouraging investment in exploration.

YPF crude production has eased over the last three years to 107 million barrels in 2010 from 111 million a year earlier and 115 million in 2008.

YPF, the local unit of Spain's Repsol started work to develop unconventional energy resources in Argentina in 2007, announcing the first results last year with the shale gas find at Loma La Lata.

Soon after that discovery, a US Department of Energy report showed that Argentina holds more natural gas trapped in shale rock than all of Europe does -- a 774-trillion-cubic-feet bounty that could transform the outlook for Western Hemisphere supply.

16 comments Feed

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1 ron (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 12:32 pm Report abuse
English pirates. envy?
2 Beef (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 12:54 pm Report abuse
ron - why would anyone be jealous? Good luck to Argentina with its oil and gas exploration and good luck to all industry sectors and companies like YPF. This kind of activity provides employment which is all good for the man on the street.

There are many areas for Argentina and the UK to work together on but you have cut yourselves out of any joint venture in the FI and it is continuing without you.

Unconventional E&P will have a role to play moving forward and we are doing this in the UK as well. Lets hope the cost of such production can be brought down sufficiently over time as 5000 bpd is a tiny amount compared to what can be extracted from conventional land or subsea reservoirs.
3 Artillero601 (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 03:09 pm Report abuse
Well said Beef !
4 Beef (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 03:19 pm Report abuse
Thanks Artillero. The fact that the UK doesn't see Argentina as a competitor in anything other than football or rugby appears to be viewed with a degree of scepticism by some of the nationalist lunatics in Argentina. We all want the best for our country and our country's industries. This is the same if you are Argentine, British, Falkland Islander or Greek. So the best of luck to YPF.

The fact that ron posted “English pirates” tells us where any envy resides.
5 jerry (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 03:31 pm Report abuse
Don´t count your chickens before they hatch. I have said it before, and I will say it again. No country in the world has ever found a viable method of recovering oil from oil shale at a profit.
6 Rufus (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 03:54 pm Report abuse
True enough Jerry, but I think the Estonians (and to a lesser extent the Chinese, Germans and the Israelis) do burn the Kerogen to produce electricity. (The Estonians, Brazilians and Chinese also use it to produce heavy oils. I think the Estonians also use it to resurface their roads.

In any case it's a useful chemical feedstock, and to agree with Beef, it's better known about and used for everyone's benefit than not known about at all.
7 Marcos Alejandro (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 04:23 pm Report abuse
2 Beef, “There are many areas for Argentina and the UK to work together”
Yes Beef, but first get the hell out of our islands.

8 Conqueror (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 04:47 pm Report abuse
Surely this discovery belongs to the Falkland Islanders under the principle of territorial integrity? As we all know, the Falkland Islanders were/are the first occupiers of the Falkland Islands. Whilst the so-called Argentines are genocidal, colonialist, imperialist Italian and Spanish invaders and occupiers.
9 Beef (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 06:21 pm Report abuse
Marcos - What islands? If you mean the FI, you tried force in 1982 and you failed, you have tried diplomacy at various points and it failed (and is continuing to fail). Now you have a choice, grow up and move on with your lives or try a legal option (but that is likely to fail as well, which you know otherwise you would have already gone down this route). We are not going anywhere because we don't have to, don't want to and you have no way of making us and we are there at the request of the Falkland Islanders.

Not interested in findings areas to collaborate then fine. We are not exactly short of offers.
10 briton (#) Nov 08th, 2011 - 06:55 pm Report abuse
7 Marcos Alejandro
such childish respose, will not get you any extra christmas presents-
this year, and you are not of the islands christmas card list,
see, once again you lose out, lol
11 Rufus (#) Nov 09th, 2011 - 01:04 am Report abuse
“We are not exactly short of offers.” Or oil shale for that matter (proven reserves of 500 million metric tons, which going on the assumption of seven barrels of shale oil per metric ton of oil shale makes about 3.5 bbls).

As Jerry pointed out above, it's not that people don't have oil shale from which to extract the shale oil, the problem is that no-one has found a way to make into petrol anywhere near as cheaply as crude oil can be.
12 so_far (#) Nov 09th, 2011 - 03:37 am Report abuse
“Other companies that are seeking to produce shale oil and gas in Neuquen province include Apache Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Americas Petrogas Inc., Total SA and Madalena Ventures Inc. ”


It is noteworthy to mention that in addition to Argentina, there are many companies working in the area “Loma La Lata” in Neuquén province and also many or almost of them will participate and benefit in varying degrees of the success of this finding, let´seee who theý are and their origin:

1) Apache Corp = USA
2) Exxon Mobil Corp = USA
3) Americas Petrogas Inc. = Canada
4) Total SA = South Africa
5) Madalena Ventures Inc = Canada

It's a shame that being Argentina the largest British community in Latin America ...... they can´t take advantage of this and lost important business......and wasting millons and millons in Malvinas, an stolen place.

But the worst is that this seems to be only the beginning of a new LatinAmerican attitude against the United Kingdom, which is becoming less welcome on the continent and the business world by his attitude despicable.

Well Done Argentina.....again.
13 Beef (#) Nov 09th, 2011 - 07:01 am Report abuse
So Far - then why has Brazil signed a defense agreement with the UK? Is this evidence of the UK being less welcome? What about study scholarships. Strange that the UK will be either the first or second destination for these students.

What money are we wasting in the FI?

Good luck to those companies. Let us hope they can actually take their profits with them.
14 briton (#) Nov 09th, 2011 - 02:29 pm Report abuse
It's a shame that being Argentina the largest British community in Latin America ...... they can´t take advantage of this and lost important business......and wasting millons and millons in Malvinas, an stolen place////////////////////////////////////////////////
yep what a sham, and the british are quaking in their boots,
the point means nothing, as in retrospect, the argentine goverment has and had no intention of sharing anything with the islanders, as you well know,, on the other hand, if argentina becomes a very rich nation, good luck to them, if you keep the wealth out of the hands of the polititions and greedy bosses, perhaps the ordinary argentines will see their wealth grow,, so their you go, with all that money why do you want a wind swept island 300 miles away from you,[anti british parhaps]
or just a femals obsesion with something she cannot have,
[the british falklands] enjoy your wealth, and dont worry abt the falklands, we will look after them .
15 O gara (#) Nov 10th, 2011 - 09:37 pm Report abuse
Seemes like the press in Puerto
Argentino wants to distance itself from “English”Falklands after all they are a country in their own right all 2000 of them
16 ChrisR (#) Nov 11th, 2011 - 10:22 pm Report abuse
Beef@13. Good post and to the point as always.
The problem for these companies SHOULD they ever make a profit CFK has already ruled that Multinationals MUST keep profits in Argentia and not send them abroad.
'Argentina's constant shifts in regulations, price controls, trade restrictions, capital controls and the doctoring of economic data has limited foreign direct investment in the country, with companies turning to Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay as safer bets.'
** Market News International - Buenos Aires **
Who in their right mind would even think of investing in Argentina now?

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