ExxonMobil said on Tuesday it will proceed with a long-term oil and natural gas development project on a block in Argentina, targeting the Vaca Muerta shale play. The US-based company plans to drill 90 wells to take production to 55,000 b/d of oil equivalent in five years from the Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in the Neuquen Basin in the country's southwest, the company said in a statement.
Oil firms, including Norway’s Statoil, U.S.’ Anadarko Petroleum Corp, China’s CNOOC and Malaysia’s Petronas, have shown interest in Argentina’s auction this year of offshore blocks for exploration and production, the country’s energy minister said.
Argentina’s state-owned oil company YPF SA expects shale oil and gas production to grow 35% in 2018, as costs in the Vaca Muerta shale play continue to fall, Chief Financial Officer Daniel Gonzalez said. Still, declining production in mature fields means overall hydrocarbon output will fall 2 to 3% in 2018 after a 5.3% reduction in 2017, Chairman Miguel Gutierrez said.
Argentina’s state-owned oil company YPF SA posted a full-year 2017 profit of 12.7 billion pesos (US$ 627.16 million), the company said, rebounding from a 28.4 billion-peso loss in 2016.
Chile's Enap Sipetrol has acquired an offshore block, Octans Pegaso, on the Argentine continental shelf off the coast of Patagonia province of Santa Cruz. The block covers 886 square kilometers and is 20kms off Santa Cruz coast at its closest point to land. It was purchased from the consortium made up of Total Austral (35%), Wintershall (35%) and ENI (30%).