The Argentine unit of Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras said on Monday that it discovered unconventional petroleum in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta formation. The well is part of the Rincon de Aranda concession in Neuquen province, operated by Petrobras Argentina in a 55%/45% partnership with French oil major Total.
“The discovery occurred during the post-stimulation test drilling at well RDA.x.1001,” Petrobras Argentina said in a filing with the Buenos Aires stock exchange.
“It is not yet possible to estimate the reserves associated with this discovery, which will require additional studies and drilling,” Petrobras Argentina said.
The oil was detected at a depth of 2,501 meters below the surface.
Vaca Muerta, which encompasses a total of 30,000 sq. kilometers in west-central Argentina has been described as one of the world’s largest shale oil and gas fields.
In October Petrobras reported another find in Neuquen after drilling targeted the Agrio formation in the El Mangrullo concession and found evidence of gas at 1300 meters.
Petrobras Argentina participates in dozens of oil production and exploration projects in Argentina, but has been looking for asset buyers amid a multibillion dollar divestment program to help fund pre-salt exploration and development expenses in Brazil.
In May Petrobras received an offer for Argentina assets but turned it down. The company has seen exploration success, however, with multiple discoveries recorded in the Santa Cruz province. Last November, Petrobras found condensate in the Estancia Campos X-1 well at the Puesto Peter concession.