Wednesday, December 19th 2012 - 20:45 UTC

Chevron/YPF sign pilot accord to drill 100 wells in Vaca Muerta shale deposits

US Chevron and Argentina’s nationalized YPF signed a partnership to on Wednesday to invest 1 billion dollars to develop the shale-oil reserves of Vaca Muerta in the hydrocarbons rich Patagonian province of Neuquén.

Moshiri and Galuccio when a recent visit to Buenos Aires to consider the deal

Vaca Muerta holds at least 23 billion barrels of oil equivalent

The companies will work on the Loma La Lata Norte and Campana areas within the Vaca Muerta formation, Miguel Galuccio, YPF CEO said in a video-conference from Houston with Ali Moshiri, Chevron’s head of Latin America, Middle East and Africa.

The details of a permanent deal will be negotiated over the next four months. The companies said Wednesday's letter of intent envisions an initial joint venture to drill 100 non-conventional oil wells at a cost of 1 billion dollars.

The agreement is the first YPF has reached with a foreign oil company to invest in Argentina since the government nationalized 51% of the company by seizing shares from Repsol SA in April. Repsol claims to have discovered the rich shale deposits.

Vaca Muerta holds at least 23 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to a report by independent auditor Ryder Scott released in February by YPF. Argentina holds the world’s third-largest shale gas reserves, behind the US and China, according to US Energy Administration data.

But Galuccio and Ali Moshiri said the agreement signed on Wednesday only covered a pilot phase.

“The question is going to be how big the investment is going to be beyond the pilot,” Moshiri told reporters. “Our goal is to start as soon as possible. What we need is to push our teams to put a definitive agreement together as soon as possible.”

CEO Galuccio called the preliminary accord “a very important day for YPF.”

YPF, which was nationalized in May, has said that to boost output it needs to invest more than 30 billion dollars in the next five years, 4.5 billion of which is to come from strategic partners.

39 comments Feed

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1 Shed-time (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 08:51 pm Report abuse
Roll-up roll-up, tickets to the Repsol lawsuit, roll-up!
2 ChrisR (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 08:56 pm Report abuse
So what are we seeing here?

Chevron have NOT signed a binding agreement for the future, just a piddling USD 1 Bn for 100 wells.

No fracking technology training, in fact no fracking of the wells as far as we are told, just the drilling.

How much, if any, oil is to be won from these 100 little wells?

Bit of a non-event in reality but no doubt the usual suspects will spin it out of all proportion.
3 Orbit (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 09:01 pm Report abuse
Nice trade Chevron; wait till they are on their knees then move in.
4 Ayayay (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 09:09 pm Report abuse
I wish Chevron would move there if they're more wanted. I'm way more excited about Indianapolis, the HOME OF THE INDY 500, going all electric vehicles for city gov. Imagine how onstantaneous the acceleration of the peace officet vehicles, and how silent.
5 Optimus_Princeps (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 09:51 pm Report abuse
This will not end well for at least one of the parties involved. Maybe all of them. Too soon to tell, but I'm going to heat up the popcorn in case something embarrassing happens.
6 Marcos Alejandro (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:25 am Report abuse
Great news, I can't say the same for the “oil” thieves in Malvinas..
7 ProRG_American (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 05:24 am Report abuse
OOOOHHHH, JEEEZZZZ! This is to much! I can't take any more of this great news. One after another. CFK is just giving me an Orgasm.
8 Shed-time (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 07:44 am Report abuse
@7 By great news do you mean Chevron being blackmailed into assisting under fear of having their assets plundered?

Great news for you, again, involves theft, coercion or subterfuge.
9 reality check (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 12:53 pm Report abuse
@7 ProRG_Yank
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a condition in which a man ejaculates earlier than he or his partner would like him to. Premature ejaculation is also known as rapid ejaculation, rapid climax, premature climax, or early ejaculation.

You have my sympathies.
10 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:23 pm Report abuse
#7 ProRG_SAmerican After all the orgasms she gave to the oilamen on her knees during thoses trips, it's about time she got on her knees for her
11 yankeeboy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:27 pm Report abuse
Let's see what happens when Chevron's assets are out of the embargo. $1B is a pretty cheap payment to get $19B back.
12 reality check (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:31 pm Report abuse
They were faked, you know how I know, she was not eating her crisps (chips)any quicker. She prefers it on her knees, the oilmen get somewhere to prize the tops off their beer bottles and strike the match for post coital cigarette.
13 briton (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:50 pm Report abuse
patagonia is really british, you argie userpers should go
14 Rosarino (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 02:27 pm Report abuse
yes briton, is that why PANAMERICAN ENERGY and BP leaves and sell their share to BRIDAS (CNOOC)-
More oil in Patagonia (and cheap to extract) is more problems for OFF SHORE EXPOLIATION you have in Malvinas-
Try whit more WIND FARMS, you will need it, believe me-

Argentina need investors and Chevron want to invest- BP goes home a few months ago- No more british capital , CHINESE.
And americans can´t stopped that, and don´t want to leave this juicy bussiness , thats why Chevron become partner-
15 briton (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 02:28 pm Report abuse
16 reality check (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 02:36 pm Report abuse
Mess them about and Chevron will be gone before you can say YPF!
I'd bet my pension on it!!!!!
17 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:34 pm Report abuse
@14 Try using a better interpreter programme, the one you have been using is gibberish.
18 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:35 pm Report abuse
I am willing to bet that Chevron was more likely forced into this scenario than volunterily went into it. Oil copanies are always seeking to drill and invest, even willing to accept higher rick than most other capitalist enterprises. Yet the world's largest oil companies, with more money and an economy in itself larget the 85 % of the countries in the world, choose to walk away for from the potential in argentina. That in itself speaks volumes about why Chevron choose to and for only a merer 1 billion dollar investment and only 100 wells.

From WSJ:
Chevron and YPF executives declined to comment on how much oil and gas the initial wells might produce, saying their main focus is keeping development costs low. Although YPF would have to import some technology from the U.S., the area where the pilot program will be located already has most of the necessary drilling and processing infrastructure, Mr. Galuccio said.

YPF hopes to learn from Chevron's experience drilling for oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale formation in the northeast U.S. and the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, Mr. Galuccio added.

“What you're dealing with in the U.S. does not exactly match what we're seeing here,” Mr. Galuccio said.

In the interview, the executive added that the Vaca Muerta shale was twice as thick as the Eagle Ford formation, and with higher pressure. It could turn out that applying horizontal drilling techniques in the same way they are used in the U.S. may not be the answer, he said.
19 yankeeboy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:58 pm Report abuse
18. Well that would be a bummer if the technology doesn't exist yet to extract the o/g.
Surely the brilliant RG minds can come up with a solution! They're so good at innovation!
20 Shed-time (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 04:23 pm Report abuse
@19 I was going to say that it would be a bummer if Repsol took chevron for £8bil in lost value due to the YPF cronyalisation. However, that's never going to win in a US court, purely because it's a European company. US courts only allow 'British companies' to be sued, as Obama put it, and allow Apple to defend their patents on the 'square'.

Have haliburton furked up another well-head yet?
21 Brit Bob (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 04:39 pm Report abuse
Will US Chevron become Argentine Chevron?
22 Raven (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 05:14 pm Report abuse

It'll become YPF when they get the fields fully functional, because current estimates are $20Billion to develop 2 fields according to an article in the FT recently, and YPF can't afford that. So it will be the old 'beg (for help), borrow (the equipment and know how to get started) and steal (the lot) routine'.
23 reality check (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 05:25 pm Report abuse
10 million per well, that gonna be enough?
24 yankeeboy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 05:30 pm Report abuse
23. Depends if you count the bribes.
25 Simon68 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 05:41 pm Report abuse
Please note the title of this piece: “Chevron/YPF sign pilot accord to drill 100 wells in Vaca Muerta shale deposits” the operative word in this case is “pilot”, if the court doesn't lift the embargo on Chevron's hardware and bank accounts there will be NO accord, pilot or otherwise!!!!!!!

If CFK wants YPF to drill her 100 wells, she better start aplying pressure to the respective judge or she is going to be sucking “dusters” as Think would say!!!!!!
26 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 06:48 pm Report abuse
Simon I think it's going to be a dance between Chevron and asslips. Asslips wants weelheads and Chevron want there 20 billion back.

#20 sure, of course REpsol will not win in a USA court like argentina has not had success in a US Court either......we only rule for Americans......right?
27 Pugol-H (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 07:25 pm Report abuse
At the very least it keeps the Ecuadorians at bay for another year. A long time in any bodies politics.

And who knows if the results are positive, and they are still the only big oil company willing to invest there, it would give them a lot of leverage on any Argentinian administration.

A lot more than Ecuador.

Maybe there is method in their madness.

I wonder what the Ecuadorians will think about it.

@ 14 Rosarino
You forgot to mention Petrobras “leaves” as well.
28 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 07:49 pm Report abuse
14 RosarinA

Check out 18 Captain Poppy and the WSJ section. Seems your gloating was a little “cart-before-the-horse” if you have any idea what that good old British saying means.

TWICE the thickness of any previous strata AND higher pressure: DOUBLE WHAMMY!

AND this from the poor sap in charge of YPF: “It could turn out that applying horizontal drilling techniques in the same way they are used in the U.S. may not be the answer, he said.”

So to recap:

1) twice the strata thickness;
2) much higher interior pressures;
4) Falklands (there are STILL no Malvinas you Pratts) deep water drilling and winning is still possible WITH EXISTING TECHNIQUES AND PROVEN TECHNOLOGY.

I love it when AG gob-shites make a complete fool of themselves because they do not have a clue WTF they are on about.

Chevron will not spend more than USD 1 Bn, that is for sure without further concessions from YPF (and who would TRUST them) so is it 100 wells or ONE well on the way to understanding the likely solution to SAFELY extracting this new type of fracking that will be required before a litre of oil gets to the surface.

Ha, ha, ha to the power of googol squared: how about the size of that number?
29 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 09:35 pm Report abuse
The thing is will not find that type of reporting in argentine papers because most are all government controlled and they will not wanting to be reporting undesirable news.
You can bet that that pilot agreement equates to releasing their garnished funds after X wells drilled or I can't imagine Chevron sticking around and being fiduciarily negligent
30 Shed-time (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 10:22 pm Report abuse
Did anyone remind Chevron that they're doing business with a stolen company?
31 reality check (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 06:48 am Report abuse
Sure they did, but when it comes to oil. what's a little larceny amongst competitors?
32 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 11:09 am Report abuse
It is very well (no pun) that the US courts just might remind them.
33 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 01:05 pm Report abuse
I think it great that chevron can make some Money in the drilling services, but as in most cases it would be good for Argentina to keep the oil production, we use to drill water wells as a child with my grandfather and father, we never charges people for the water we supplied, we where glad to get the job done and make money.
34 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 21st, 2012 - 03:40 pm Report abuse
There is no money to be made in drilling for an oil company. The money comes from extraction, refinement and market sales. However exploration in shale is not a given especially with the bedrock twice the thickness thus increasing pressure. We shall see if they can generate enough torque for horizontal drilling techniques.
Publically traded companies are in the business to make money, not help and give away assets to countries like argentina. We shall have a good idea of the potential outcome of this adventure by March for certain.
35 ProRG_American (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 04:47 pm Report abuse
La Nacion and C5N have confirmed that ARA Espora has sailed from South Africa and is headed towards the Brazilian coast where it will join ARA Libertad to escort it into Mar Del Plata Naval base on January 9, 2013.
36 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 23rd, 2012 - 07:30 pm Report abuse
What a Navy Never Again Volunteer Yourself in the argentine navy
37 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 06:52 pm Report abuse
More good news that the haters said would never happen...
38 ChrisR (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 09:25 pm Report abuse

Read No 2 by me and try to understand the implications, but I doubt you are capable of getting them.
39 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 25th, 2012 - 12:17 am Report abuse
BK is a fanatical, rabid totalitarianist that can only see one way....their way. It does not matter if they need to alter the constitution to keep their dictators in power, it does not matter how much the people are repressed. He professes about the greatness of argentina and yet he has never seen the abject poverty there. He is a walking joke that looks at everything and anything as good news. His masterbatory icon, asslips is no where to be found during all this. What a great leader.

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