Argentina’s YPF finalizes deal with Statoil to develop Vaca Muerta

19 Jan 2018   Argentina

Argentina’s state-run energy company YPF said Thursday it has finalized a deal with Norway’s Statoil to jointly explore and develop a block targeting Vaca Muerta, the country’s largest shale play. Statoil will take a 50% stake in Bajo del Toro, a 38,800-acre block in the southwestern province of Neuquen, home to most of the play’s acreage, YPF said in a filing with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange. YPF said it will retain the rest of the shares in the block and continue as the operator. The companies first agreed to the project last August, pending further evaluation on both sides. The final step now is for YPF to get approval from the Neuquen government to farm in 50% of Bajo del Toro to Statoil, YPF said. It did not say how long this could take. Once the project starts, Statoil will pay $30 million to YPF and handle the […]

Exxon To Start Exporting Vaca Muerta Gas

28 Dec 2017   Argentina

Exxon will start exporting natural gas from the massive Vaca Muerta shale play in Argentina to Chile, local media reported . This will make the world’s top oil company the first to commercialize the reserves of the formation that Argentina is eager to exploit to improve its energy security. Exxon has sealed an energy swap deal with Chilean Innergy, according to which the supermajor will feed up to 1.06 million cu ft of gas daily from the province of Neuquen into the Pacifico pipeline, which will carry it to the Pemuco regasification plant. The gas will then be sent to the Mendoza province in Argentina. The deal, for the period until end-May next year, will see Exxon export a total 31.8 million cu ft of Vaca Muerta gas, unless an energy emergency requires diverting the shipments to local destinations. Exxon is among the biggest investors in the Vaca Muerta […]

Statoil takes stronger position in Argentina’s shale

1 Dec 2017   Argentina, Norway

Statoil owned Fagervika oil reservoirs in Trondheim, Norway in 2009. Photo by Sveter/Wikimedia Commons Nov. 30 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil said it expanded its footprint in Argentina by becoming the operator at an area near one of the world’s largest shale basins. The company said it was awarded a license in the Bajo del Toro Este area in the Neuquén basin, taking a 90 percent stake and serving as the operator. “With the Bajo del Toro Este license award we are building our light oil position in a world-class unconventional resource play, the Vaca Muerta formation,” Statoil’s executive vice president for exploration, Tim Dodson, said in a statement . Vaca Muerta, located in Neuquén province, is considered one of the best shale basins in Latin America. Analysis from consultant group Wood Mackenzie found parts of the basin are producing on average 646 barrels of oil equivalent per […]

Can Argentina Replicate The U.S. Shale Boom?

20 Nov 2017   Argentina, Shale Oil

Argentina has consistently been hyped as the location where the next shale revolution will unfold. The unfolding has taken some time, but progress in shale production is starting to take off in the South American nation. In October, state-owned YPF announced plans to spend $30 billion on shale investment over the next five years in an effort to scale up oil and gas production from the Vaca Muerta shale. The company hopes to boost shale output by 150 percent over that timeframe. Key to that push is lowering development costs. YPF says that it can produce a barrel of oil equivalent (boe) for $13, and it aims to reduce that to $10/boe by 2020, which the company says would make it competitive with shale production from the Permian or Eagle Ford. Part of the cost cutting drive, the company and the government believe, will be lowering labor costs. Earlier […]

Argentina’s YPF To Invest $21.5B From 2018 To 2022

26 Oct 2017   Argentina

YPF plans to invest $21.5 billion in the country from 2018 to 2022. BUENOS AIRES, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Argentina’s state-controlled energy company YPF plans to invest $21.5 billion in the country from 2018 to 2022 and increase oil production by 26 percent, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Investment in the country’s energy sector by companies in partnership with YPF is projected at $8.5 billion during the period, bringing total expected investment to $30 billion through 2022, the statement said without giving further details. By the end of that time the company expects to have drilled 1,600 new oil and natural gas wells, it said. “The objective of this plan is to transform the operations and culture of the company to achieve sustainable growth that will allow the Argentine public access to more energy and better services,” the statement said. YPF’s CEO resigned in late August. […]

$800 Million Gas Pipeline Proposed As Argentina Preps For Shale Boom

14 Oct 2017   Argentina

Gas transporter TGS, controlled by Pampa Energía, has proposed an $800 million pipeline and gas treatment plant in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale fields, a company source said, aiming to address a key barrier to increasing production. The project, subject to approval by the government of Neuquen province, could be built in a year and a half and would transport gas produced by companies including state-run YPF SA, Tecpetrol, Dow Argentina and Exxon Mobil Corp, the source said. Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri has made attracting investment to ramp up natural gas production a priority of his government, which is trying to end reliance on costly energy imports. But expanded output is limited by current pipeline capacity in […]

Russia Gets Foothold In The World’s Hottest NatGas Discovery

12 Oct 2017   Argentina, Russia

Chinese E&P major Sinopec reportedly put its Argentina assets up for a $1 billion sale this week. With one of the interested buyers said to be Russia’s Rosneft. And that latter firm made ever bigger waves in the global natural gas industry this week. With the purchase of a stake in one of the largest — and most geopolitically complicated — development projects in the world. That’s the Zohr natgas field, offshore Egypt. A find made by Italian major Eni — which holds a massive reserve of 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Eni announced this week it is selling a 30 percent interest in Zohr to Rosneft. With the Russian firm paying $1.125 billion for the stake, and reimbursing Eni for a proportionate share of historic costs. That will now give Rosneft a foothold in one of the world’s most important emerging natgas areas: the eastern Mediterranean. […]

Argentina Doubles Down On Shale Gas And Renewables

14 Sep 2017   Argentina

Traditionally one of the most prominent oil and natural gas markets in South America, Argentina is increasingly turning towards alternative forms of energy, with the government exploring shale gas and renewable options as it looks to diversify its power market.  The shift comes amid challenges to longstanding hydrocarbons production, which has seen Argentina record export deficits in recent years.According to the “BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017”, natural gas accounts for 50.2 percent of Argentina’s power. Oil was second at 35.9 percent and hydro third with 9.8 percent. Other forms of energy consumption consisted of nuclear power (2.1 percent) and coal (1.2 percent), with renewables accounting for just 0.8 percent.

While the country’s energy mix has remained relatively stable in recent years, changes to the energy market have created shifts that the government is now attempting to address.  Years of protective policy relating to the hydrocarbons sector have affected the industry’s competitiveness, and have subsequently had an impact on output.  In 2016 Argentina produced an average of 619,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), a 27 percent decrease on 2006 levels. In contrast, consumption has increased by 44 percent to 687,000 bpd.  This resulted in Argentina moving from a net exporter of crude oil to a net importer in 2008. A similar transformation occurred in gas, where annual production fell from 46.1bn cu metres in 2006 to 38.3bn a decade later.

BP folds Argentine assets into JV backed by Cnooc

BP has agreed to fold its Argentine assets into a new joint-venture backed by Cnooc of China in a deal that widens both groups’ interests in a country boasting some of the most promising shale oil and gas resources outside the US. Pan American Energy (PAE), an Argentine oil and gas producer 60 per cent owned by BP, will be combined with Axion Energy, one of the Latin American country’s largest oil refiners and fuel retailers, to create a new integrated energy group. The new company will be a 50-50 joint venture with Axion’s owner, Bridas Corporation, which is 50 per cent owned by state-controlled Cnooc. Bridas already owns the 40 per cent of PAE not held by BP and Axion is the primary customer for PAE’s Argentine crude oil output. BP said fully integrating the closely-connected businesses would unleash further operational synergies. No cash payments will be made by either party for the equity exchange, which BP said would create the largest private Argentine energy company. PAE accounted for 18 per cent of Argentine oil and gas production last year, with average output of 262,000 barrels a day. It operates the Cerro Dragon oilfield — the country’s largest — and also has positions in the Vaca Muerta shale region. Argentina has been attracting growing interest from global energy groups as a new frontier in the shale revolution, which has unlocked large volumes of oil and gas from “tight” rock formations in the US.

Indigenous Mapuche thwart Argentina shale development

9 Sep 2017   Argentina

Indigenous Mapuche communities demanding cash payments and blocking oil wells in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta area are threatening the long delayed development of the world’s second-largest shale fields, oil companies say. Since the beginning of the year the Mapuche have cut off access to 14 wells in the Loma de la Lata field, one of only two shale fields currently producing in the Belgium-sized Vaca Muerta area, state-run YPF said in an e-mailed statement. YPF, Argentina’s largest oil company, spent 55 million pesos ($3 million) on payments to a Kaxipayiñ Mapuche community leader last year, more than double the payments in 2014, a company source said. The conflict is intensifying as President Mauricio Macri prioritizes attracting energy investment to develop the area and end Argentina’s reliance on imported energy. “It affects us a lot,” YPF Chairman Miguel Gutierrez said of the Mapuche conflict in a recent […]

Norway’s Statoil takes first steps into Argentina’s lauded shale

26 Aug 2017   Argentina, Norway

Norway’s Statoil marks a debut of sorts with a partnership in a shale basin in Argentina, one of the largest in the world. Map courtesy of Statol Aug. 25 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil said Friday it signed an agreement with Argentine company YPF to explore parts of the “world-class” Vaca Muerta shale basin. Statoil under the terms of the agreement took a 50 percent stake in the Bajo del Toro exploration permit in the Neuquén Basin alongside YPF. The Norwegian company said it would fund all of the costs associated with activities in the region. This is the first formal step for Statoil into one of the largest unconventional oil and natural gas basins in the world. “This is a light oil exploration project in a world-class unconventional resource play, the Vaca Muerta formation,” Tom Dodson, Statoil’s vice president for exploration and production, said in a statement […]

The Make Or Break Moment For Argentina’s Shale Boom

18 Aug 2017   Argentina

Argentina’s abundant shale resources have attracted a growing number of major international companies since the beginning of this year—all of them interested in developing the prized Vaca Muerta shale formation; but mid-term elections are making everyone nervous, and a change in the current pro-business climate could mean bust rather than boom for shale. Much is at stake. Vaca Muerta is thought to be a highly prolific basin, and even though it’s in the early stage of development, well performance there is already catching up with some U.S. shale plays. A lot of investment would be needed for a play-wide development at Vaca Muerta, but attracting investment and luring more and more experienced drillers to the country hinges on Argentina’s energy, tax, and pro-business policies. Currently, right-of-center President Mauricio Macri is betting big on welcoming more foreign investment into Vaca Muerta. He’s introducing various reforms to make doing business in […]

Argentina’s Push to Mimic Permian Success Faces Long Road Ahead

26 Apr 2017   Argentina

Vaca Muerta geology a match, support services fall short Energy assets could be key to country’s economic future Argentina’s Vaca Muerta, one of the largest shale formations outside of North America, offers tons of promise for the country’s energy future. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for it. Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren , billionaire investor Paolo Rocca and bullish Morgan Stanley economists all predict lightning fast growth in the region, comparing it to the Eagle Ford and Permian basins in the U.S., oil and natural gas-saturated plays that have spurred billions in revenue. Photographer: Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images The reason: Vaca Muerta offers Argentina, which has struggled for years with rampant inflation, an economic lifeline for the future. Still, before the field reaches its potential, gas and oil pipelines need to be built, roads, train lines and power networks need upgrading, and drilling costs that run 30 […]

Exxon Is Going Primetime With The World’s Next Shale Hotspot

22 Apr 2017   Argentina, Shale Oil

The U.S. shale sector continues to be the hottest spot in natural resources investment. But news this week suggests America’s oil and gas industry may have a new rival — as shale in a completely different part of the world gets ready to go commercial. In Argentina. The governor of Argentina’s Neuquen province Omar Gutierrez said in a statement Monday that shale production is about to begin in earnest in his territory. With ExxonMobil reportedly about to push the button on a major project in the Vaca Muerta shale here over the coming weeks. Governor Gutierrez noted that he was in Houston last week meeting with Exxon management. Who reportedly told him the company will enter the “production phase” on the company’s Vaca Muerta projects this May. Gutierrez didn’t give additional detail on the specific projects that will be put into full-scale production. And Exxon itself hasn’t made any […]

Exxon Mulls Big Investment In Argentina As Part Of Shale Strategy

21 Apr 2017   Argentina

ExxonMobil is betting on shale development not only on its home turf. The supermajor is also planning to speed up investment plans for shale gas drilling in Argentina’s prized Vaca Muerta formation in the Neuquen province. Exxon will start drilling Vaca Muerta in May, by drilling horizontal wells with laterals of 2,500-3,000 meters (8,202-9,843 feet), Neuquen province governor Omar Gutiérrez said on Monday. The U.S. major’s total investments in developing Vaca Muerta will have reached $750 million by the end of this year, said Gutiérrez, who discussed Exxon’s plans with executives of Exxon and its subsidiary XTO in Houston last week. ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina (EMEA) has been present in Vaca Muerta since 2010 . Last year, following the successful initial exploration results in the Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block, EMEA launched a pilot project to continue to assess the productivity and recovery of horizontal wells in Vaca Muerta. The […]

Holy Vaca Muerta! There Is Life Beyond The Permian

9 Mar 2017   Argentina

Industry heavy-hitters reveal their top assets outside of the prolific Permian Basin during a CERAWeek by IHS Markit discussion in Houston. Before “Permania” reignited the oil and gas industry’s lust for acreage, the Permian Basin was a hit or miss bet. And for Houston Energy LP, it was a miss that sent the company offshore. Ronald Neal, co-founder and co-owner of the private exploration and production (E&P) company, said that in 2007, Houston Energy was still onshore, and had invested in the Howard County hold of the Permian Basin during 2007. “In hindsight, I think I know what Moses felt like,” Neal told a gathering at CERAWeek by IHS Markit in Houston. “Moses wandered around the Middle East for 40 years, and he stopped in the one part of real estate that didn’t have oil. We did that as well. We bought acreage in the only part of the […]

Is This Argentinian Shale Play The Next Permian?

9 Mar 2017   Argentina

Having inked a $300 million investment deal with the Argentinian YPF, Shell reiterated its claim to join the ranks of the various oil & gas majors engaged in tapping the plentiful shale resources of the Vaca Muerta (“Dead Cow”) formation in Neuquén Province. Competitors abound – ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP (Pan American Energy), Total, Petrobras, Wintershall and others all stand to consolidate their hold on Latin America’s largest shale development, with reserves of 8.7 TCm of gas and 16 bn barrels of oil. After the discovery of several large-scale fields between 2010 and 2012, Vaca Muerta came to be known as a top-potential project that simply took too long to develop. The ultimate root cause of the delays can be traced back to the complex system of relations between the Argentinian state and companies operating within its territory. YPF controls approximately half of the Vaca Muerta acreage and after its […]

Argentina strikes $15bn a year shale investment deal

11 Jan 2017   Argentina

President Mauricio Macri is pushing to revamp flagging production at Argentina’s massive shale reserves, with companies agreeing on Tuesday to invest as much as $15bn a year in exchange for lower labour costs and extended state subsidies. The drive to increase investment and productivity in the Vaca Muerta shale deposit in Patagonia, which boasts the second-largest reserves of shale gas in the world, is part of Argentina ’s attempt to recover energy self-sufficiency and emulate the shale boom in the US. Mr Macri proclaimed a “new era” for the country’s languishing energy sector, which will see foreign companies including Chevron , Dow , BP , Shell and Total, as well as Argentina’s state energy company YPF , invest an initial $5bn in 2017, rising to $15bn in subsequent years. Although once a net exporter of energy, a lack of investment in recent years has seen production plummet, leaving Argentina […]

Argentina clinches deal to attract investment in Vaca Muerta shale

11 Jan 2017   Argentina

Argentina has clinched a deal with labor unions and energy companies aimed at luring investors to the Vaca Muerta formation in Patagonia, one of the largest shale reserves in the world, the government said on Tuesday. Vaca Muerta has attracted investment from Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp. But the formation, which is about the size of Belgium, remains mostly unexplored, largely due to high production costs and a lack of labor flexibility, oil major executives have said. As part of the pact, Argentina will offer a subsidized price of $7.50 per million British thermal units of natural gas produced at new wells through 2020. The price, which is more than double that of front-month natural gas futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange, is […]

Argentina to Award More Contracts to Build Renewable Power Generators

26 Nov 2016   Argentina, Renewables

Argentine officials on Friday said they would grant more contracts to build renewable power generators, bringing the total investment committed to such projects to $4 billion. The government plans to award contracts to produce 1,281 megawatts of clean energy through 30 different wind and solar power projects, Juan José Aranguren, Argentina’s energy minister, told a news conference. “Investors have shown they believe in Argentina,” Mr. Aranguren said. The projects, which economists say offer the best evidence yet that investors are betting on President Mauricio Macri’s economic policies, will help the country meet its goal of raising clean energy output to 20% of the total power supply by 2025. Mr. Macri has moved quickly to bolster Argentina’s dilapidated and crisis-prone electric grid and power system since taking office last December. He has also said the country needs to invest in renewable energy to meet Argentina’s commitments under the Paris […]

Argentina plans railway to help lower shale drilling costs

Argentina’s national government is in the preparatory stages for equipping an aging railway and laying new train tracks to service the Vaca Muerta shale play. Jorge Ocampos, a legislator in the province of Rio Negro, made a presentation of the $1.2 billion project late Wednesday, according to a statement Thursday. The railway is to run from the port city of Bahia Blanca in Buenos Aires province through Rio Negro to Anelo and Rincon de los Sauces, a town and city at the heart of Vaca Muerta activities in the southwestern province of Neuquen. The project also includes building more roads and highways, Ocampos said in the statement. Article continues below… Oilgram News brings you fast-breaking global petroleum and gas news on and including: Industry players, upstream and downstream markets, refineries, midstream transportation and financial reports Supply and demand trends, government actions, exploration and technology Daily futures summary Weekly API […]

Argentina’s YPF to expand shale oil drilling with Petronas

24 Nov 2016   Argentina, Shale Oil

 Argentine state-controlled energy company YPF ( YPFD.BA ) said on Wednesday it plans to continue a pilot shale oil project with Malaysia’s Petronas ( PGAS.KL ), announcing an additional $192.5 million joint investment. The two companies put nine wells into production between May 2015 and September of this year, with an initial $165 million investment, YPF said in a statement. In the next phase they intend to drill 10 horizontal wells and build infrastructure to transport shale oil. The project is located in the Amarga Chica block in Neuquen province. Southern Argentina is home to Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s largest shale reserves. Petronas shares an equal stake in the project with YPF through its subsidiary Petronas E&P Argentina SA. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by […]

Is Argentina About To See An Oil Crash?

22 Nov 2016   Argentina

It’s been a tough week for the U.S. oil and gas industry, with the Department of Interior annulling 25 leases in Colorado’s Mancos shale (for environmental reasons), and then cancelling 15 leases on tribal lands in Montana . Topped off by the release of a new 5-year offshore drilling plan that closes the Atlantic, Pacific and much of the Arctic to exploration. But things were even worse for oil producers in another part of the world. Where the government made a surprise about-face on pricing policies — with major impacts on E&P profits. Argentina. Earlier this year, things had been looking great for Argentinean oil developers. When the government said it would fix domestic crude prices at around $67.50 per barrel — significantly higher than world prices, in a bid to encourage exploration and development across the country. But news late last week suggests those attractive subsidies […]

This Entire Region Is Now Shaping Up As The World’s Top Natural Gas Play

2 Nov 2016   Argentina

I’ve been writing over the last several months about the world’s top natural gas play — the growing demand center of Argentina. And this week, things got even tighter in terms of supply here. Making the entire region more attractive for producers. That became apparent from a critical piece of news emerging over the weekend in Argentina’s neighbor to the northwest: Bolivia. Where lifeline exports of natgas into the Argentinean market are apparently dwindling fast. Local papers in Bolivia reported that state energy firm YPFB failed to meet natgas export commitments this past July. With sources quoting Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera as saying that shipments to Argentina for that month totalled just 15.4 million cubic meters per day — at least 23% lower than the volumes of 19.9 to 23.4 million cubic meters that YPFB is contractually obligated to provide. So what’s causing Bolivia to […]

The Argentinian Renewable Revolution

11 Oct 2016   Argentina

Argentina’s government is making the push towards more renewables at an extremely fast rate. The country recently held an auction for long-term contracts totaling a potential 1,109 megawatts of power in the form of wind, solar, hydro and biomass. The winners of the auction’s 17 contracts were announced this past Friday totaling $1.8 million in investments. Argentina relies on fossil fuels for approximately 60 percent of their energy, 7 percent more than the United States. Argentina doesn’t demand nearly as much energy with a 3,093 kWh/capita in 2013, compared to our 12,988 kWh/capita. The United States, having industrialized sooner than Argentina, is comparably more affluent and as a result spends a higher amount of energy per person in our far greater population. If we look at trends with developing countries versus those that are developed to current international standards, as denoted by the IMF and the World Bank, there […]

Argentina may build LNG liquefaction terminal in far southern: source

11 Oct 2016   Argentina

Argentina is considering the construction of its first liquefaction terminal to increase natural gas deliveries from the southernmost Austral Basin domestically and eventually to overseas markets, a person close to the project said Friday. Carlos Roma, a congressman for the ruling conservative party, submitted a bill for the project to Congress on Thursday, said the source, who works for the congressman. The bill calls for building the terminal in Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago thought to have huge potential for increasing offshore gas production. The gas supplies would be liquefied for delivery by tanker to two floating regasification terminals in the province of Buenos Aires. “At first, the gas liquefaction plant would replace imports,” the source said. “In the future there would be the possibility of exporting supplies.” Argentina imports an average of 25 million cu m/d of LNG to terminals in Bahia Blanca and Escobar, mostly from Nigeria, […]

Big Oil Flocks To Argentina As Permian Land Prices Skyrocket

16 Sep 2016   Argentina

The Permian Basin has become so hot that some oil companies are starting to stay away, instead looking at frontiers that are less picked over. BP is one such company. The British oil giant’s CEO Bob Dudley said that land in the Permian has become too expensive, and instead he is looking to expand operations in Argentina, where the vast Vaca Muerta shale basin offers appetizing opportunity. In an interview with Bloomberg TV from Buenos Aires, Dudley said BP is planning on acquiring more assets in the Vaca Muerta. And it isn’t just the “enormous potential” from the oil and gas reserves in the shale basin, but also the friendly policy put forth by the new Argentine government led by President Mauricio Macri. “I’m really encouraged by what I see,” Dudley said. “There’s a lot of future here.” BP has a joint venture with Bridas Corp. – BP owns […]

BP’s Dudley Favors Argentina Shale Over Costly Texas Permian

14 Sep 2016   Argentina

Vaca Muerta fields have ‘enormous potential,’ Dudley says Permian Basin shale assets too expensive for company right now BP Plc would rather invest in Argentina’s shale oil fields than in Texas’s Permian Basin, the U.S. drilling hot spot, Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said. The U.K. oil producer is seeking to buy more assets in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale fields, which have “enormous potential,” Dudley said in a Bloomberg Television interview Tuesday in Buenos Aires. The government there has improved the investment appeal of the country by helping foreign companies cut through red tape, he said. Bob Dudley on Sept. 13. “I’m really encouraged by what I see,” Dudley said. “There’s a lot of future here.” Argentine President Mauricio Macri has been courting international corporations from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Total SA to tap the vast investments needed to develop the nation’s shale oil and gas deposits. Attractive terms […]

Argentina’s Shale Industry Makes Progress, But No Boom Yet

Argentina Rig Argentina is advancing in its mission to become the largest shale oil and gas producer outside of North America. But well economics still challenge the industry, despite heavy price supports from the government. While production from conventional wells in the Neuquén basin has steadily declined, tight gas production has almost tripled over the past two years with an average of 18 new wells drilled per month in the basin, reaching 565 mmcfd (16Mm3/d) during the first quarter of 2016. As drilling and completion costs vary across the basin, estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) may play a greater role in well economics than reducing costs, where only outstanding wells break even at the incentivised US$7.50 /MMBTU according to the latest Wood Mackenzie analysis . After years of decline in natural gas production, Argentina has been rejuvenating the local industry by offering higher prices on output from new developments. The […]

Shale Drilling Set To Take Off In Argentina

22 Jul 2016   Argentina

Argentina has exceptional hydrocarbon reserves, but politics has greatly affected its development. The economy in Argentina is best described as a “pendulum”, going from loose economic policies in the ‘80s to Washington-consensus liberalisation in the ‘90s and back again under the Kirchner regime. Since the current president Macri took office in December 2015, he has been reversing the policies of his predecessor and has focused on boosting the economy with free-market measures through eliminating currency controls and lowering utility subsidies. In March, the government also announced a US$7.50 per barrel subsidy on exported oil while Brent remained below US$47.50 per barrel to attract foreign investment. Argentina’s recoverable shale oil reserves are estimated at 27 billion barrels and hold the third largest shale gas and fourth largest shale oil reserves in the world. Appearing in the spotlight is the Vaca Muerta formation with technically recoverable shale gas of 308 trillion […]

Big Legal Move Could Render Argentina Unattractive For NatGas Drillers

13 Jul 2016   Argentina

Vaca Muerta Argentina has been shaping up as one of the best places on Earth for oil and gas exploration. With high and rising government-mandated prices helping to spur big investments in exploration and development. But those plans hit a major hitch late last week. When the country’s Supreme Court stepped into the regulation of commodities pricing. Argentina’s highest judges moved last Thursday to suspend planned price hikes for natural gas. Which Argentina’s new government had previously promised would fix natgas rates as high as $7.50/MMBtu — an elevated level that would have given producers and explorers in the country a big leg up. But the courts ruled that forcing Argentina’s gas consumers to pay more is unconstitutional. With judges saying that the government must first hold public hearings on the proposed price increases — before finalizing the measures and cementing higher prices for producers. That puts the future […]

Argentina’s ruling party warns of economic fallout without gas price hike

9 Jul 2016   Argentina

Argentina’s court-ordered suspension of natural gas price hikes could slam consumers with faster inflation and higher taxes, a ruling-party leader warned Friday while also calling on the Supreme Court to intervene as social tension swells. “If there are no increases, the cost of energy will be paid with taxes and resources of the Treasury, and this will generate inflation,” Federico Pinedo, the Senate’s provisional president, said on Radio Mitre. Pinedo spoke a day after a federal court suspended the 400%-500% increases in gas bills nationally, arguing that the conservative government of President Mauricio Macri failed to hold public hearings for the hikes, as required by law. Pinedo said the increases are needed to encourage investment for rebuilding energy supplies after a decade of decline. Article Continues below… Every day, Platts Energy Trader provides a unique perspective on the energy marketplace, including comprehensive coverage of both the natural gas and […]

Argentina’s energy needs draw fuel tankers from around the globe

9 Jun 2016   Argentina

A flotilla of 21 fuel tankers from Europe, the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States is steaming toward Argentina as it ramps up imports of gasoil and liquefied natural gas to record levels this year, according to its new government and Thomson Reuters data. Still a long way from regaining the energy self-sufficiency lost in 2010, the South American country has bought 49 cargoes of LNG so far this year and will buy 90 in all, a spokesman for the Energy Ministry told Reuters this week. (Graphic: ) According to the results of tenders seen by Reuters, major oil companies are competing for a lucrative slice of market share during a years-long “transition” period that will last until Argentina boosts domestic oil and gas output significantly by developing vast new shale reserves in the Vaca Muerta formation. (Graphic: ) “Investment in exploration has resumed, but it will […]

Exxon CEO Says Argentina Shale Investment May Exceed $10B

4 Jun 2016   Argentina

Exxon Mobil Corp. may invest more than $10 billion in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation in the next decades, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson says. (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. may invest more than $10 billion in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation in the next decades, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson said Thursday. The oil giant has so far invested $200 million in the world’s second largest shale gas deposit, Tillerson said after meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires. Exxon has received approval to invest $250 million more for a pilot project in the coming months. If the pilot project is successful, the company will start full development during a period of 20 to 30 years that could involve additional investment “that would be well in excess of $10 billion,” he said. For Tillerson, Argentina’s vast Vaca Muerta shale region represents an […]

Argentina’s Prized Vaca Muerta Shale Could See $10B Exxon Investment

4 Jun 2016   Argentina

Vaca Muerta Shale Having already invested $200 million in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale — the world’s second-largest shale gas deposit — supermajor ExxonMobil is now saying it may invest at least $10 billion in this play over the next 2-3 decades, Bloomberg reports . A pilot project coming up this summer will see Exxon invest $250 million, and based on that project’s success, Exxon will launch full-scale development to span the next 20-30 years for an investment that could be “well in excess of $10B,” Bloomberg quoted Exxon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson as saying Thursday. Argentina is home to 27 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 802 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, primarily in and around multiple prolific shale basins in the central Neuquen province, including the prized Vaca Muerta shale. This shale formation is what is spurring talk that the next shale boom will […]

Argentina oil production extends decline as rig activity slows

30 Mar 2016   Argentina

Argentina’s oil production declined 1.6% in January on the year, extending a slide that started in 1998, energy ministry data shows. Crude production dropped to 524,947 b/d in January from 533,261 b/d in January 2015, and was 1.4% less than the 532,228 b/d in December, the ministry said. This means that January’s production was 38% less than the record 847,000 b/d in 2004. “Most of the fields in Argentina are mature and they are declining in production,” Alejandro Gagliano, a partner at Giga Consulting, an oil industry consulting firm in Buenos Aires, said Tuesday. “A lot of investment is needed to sustain production.” Argentina has not attracted much oil investment since a 2001-02 economic crisis ushered in a populist-left government whose policies cut profit potential and made it harder to plan business. These included price caps, trade restrictions and bans on paying dividends abroad. Article continues below… Crude Oil […]

$67 Oil Has All The Majors Converging Here

14 Mar 2016   Argentina

Argentina offers one of the few places on earth where oil companies are not suffering from the full force of the collapse in prices. Argentina regulates oil prices, a policy originally intended to insulate the public from the whims of the market, protecting people from triple-digit crude prices. But with the crash in prices since mid-2014, the effect of the regulation has reversed: motorists are now effectively subsidizing the oil industry. Prices for light oil are set at $67 per barrel and natural gas prices fixed at $7.50 per million Btu (MMBtu). That means consumers are not reaping the benefits of cheap fuel. The higher prices they pay offer a huge lifeline for the oil industry. From the consumer’s standpoint, that may not sound like a great deal. But it may help Argentina’s shale industry keep their momentum going. Argentina holds some of the largest shale potential outside of […]

Argentina’s ‘Dead Cow’ Provides Rare Bright Spot for Oil, Gas Drillers

10 Mar 2016   Argentina

From North Dakota to Texas and beyond, oil and gas companies have sharply reined in drilling and thousands of workers are being laid off. But here, where the oil and gas industry operates inside a government-made, subsidized bubble, taxpayers and drivers spend billions of dollars to try to keep that from happening. A barrel of oil fetches more than twice what it does in the U.S., and prices for natural gas can be nearly four times higher. That is helping shield producers and their workers developing the vast shale oil-and-gas deposits buried under a desolate swath of western Patagonia called Vaca Muerta, or Dead Cow, from the vagaries of world markets. Since taking office in December , Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, has been reversing the populist policies of his predecessor, Cristina Kirchner , undoing everything from currency controls to export taxes. But he is expanding the expensive programs […]

YPF, American Energy Partners to Develop Argentina Oil, Gas Projects

15 Jan 2016   Argentina

Argentina’s YPF SA YPF 2.34 % and American Energy Partners LP, run by energy industry veteran Aubrey McClendon , signed a deal Thursday to jointly explore and develop unconventional oil and gas projects in the South American nation, the chief executive of the Argentine state-run oil firm said. The deal, the latest in a series of international joint ventures by YPF, underscores growing global interest in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta—or “dead cow”—shale formation, located in the Patagonian Province of Neuquén. Drilling in Vaca Muerta has already turned Argentina into the world’s top shale producer outside of North America. YPF expects Mr. McClendon and his engineers to introduce a new, more competitive approach to producing unconventional energy in Argentina. “We are adding someone with experience that will speed up our learning curve,” Miguel Galuccio, YPF’s chief executive, said in […]

Wood Mac: Expect Argentinean shale boom

21 Nov 2015   Argentina

One of the more lucrative shale basins in the Americas, the Vaca Muerta play in Argentina, could double its output by 2018, analysis finds. Vaca Muerta, located in Neuquen province, is considered one of the best shale basins in Latin America. Analysis emailed from Wood Mackenzie found parts of the basin are producing on average 646 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 53 percent from last year. Petronas, Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, known also as Pemex, and Argentine oil company YPF signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding on exploration and production in 2013. Russian energy companies have expressed interest in joining the venture . The study from Wood Mackenzie finds production increases will be slow, but year-on-year expansion expected at around […]

Oil at $77? It Is in This Country That Plays by Its Own Rules

26 Aug 2015   Argentina

Oil at $77? It is in Argentina. Oil has plummeted below $39 a barrel in the U.S. But despite the price bloodbath in global energy markets, it fetches nearly twice that amount in Argentina — home to some of the most expensive crude in the world. Even as prices plunged anew Monday, sending world benchmarks close to the lowest levels they briefly hit in the Great Recession, oil is still flying high in Argentina for the simple reason the government wants it that way. There is some method behind the apparent madness. Argentina is home to the second-largest reserves of shale gas and fourth- largest of shale oil in the world. Faced with a $6-billion energy trade deficit in 2014, the government has been using its made-in-Argentina price to try to turbocharge domestic […]

Shale does not mean end to Argentina’s natural gas imports: IAPG

16 Jul 2015   Argentina

Argentina likely will continue to import natural gas supplies to meet peak demand, even as its production from large shale and tight gas resources grows in the next two decades, the Argentine Institute of Oil and Gas (IAPG) said. This is because it would not be economically viable to install production and transport infrastructure to meet peak demand in winter, due to the high cost of maintaining excess capacity simply to have it available for up to 90 days of the year, the industry group said in its gas demand forecast for 2015-2035. “It is cheaper to import LNG, than to build infrastructure and drill wells to meet peak demand,” said IAPG president Ernesto Lopez Anadon. IAPG forecast that gas demand would rise to 260 million cubic meters/d in 2035, with peaks of 290 million cu m/d in the May-September cold season. That compares with average gas demand of […]

Argentina and China lead shale development outside North America in first-half 2015

As recently as last year, only four countries in the world were producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil): the United States and Canada, and more recently, Argentina and China. Beyond these four countries, other countries have started exploring hydrocarbons from shale and other tight resources, but they are still short of reaching commercial production. The 2013 World Shale Gas and Shale Oil Resource Assessment , produced by EIA and Advanced Resources International (ARI), noted large shale deposits in China and Argentina. Exploration and drilling is already underway in these countries. For the last two years, China has drilled more than 200 wells, and Argentina has drilled more than 275 wells. Each country has the potential to significantly increase production of shale gas […]

Russia eyes Argentinian energy role

25 Apr 2015   Argentina, Russia

Russian energy company Gazprom said it signed a memorandum of cooperation in Moscow to work alongside its counterparts on Argentina. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met in Moscow with her Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss bilateral relations . Gazprom said its management team signed the memorandum with Argentinian energy company YPF on the sidelines of the meeting. Russia expressed interest in Argentina’s energy market in 2012 following the nationalization of YPF. The following year, Gazprom won a tender to supply Argentina with 15 shipments of liquefied natural gas with a total of 1 million tons through 2015. In the Latin American market, both sides have focused on development the Vaca Muerta shale site in […]

Argentina Summons U.K. Ambassador Over Falkland Islands Dispute

11 Apr 2015   Argentina

The U.K. government on Friday confirmed its ambassador in Buenos Aires had been summoned to a meeting at Argentina’s foreign ministry, in the latest flare-up of the long-running diplomatic row over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands that has engulfed oil and gas exploration companies. The Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Zuain summoned the U.K. ambassador on Thursday to explain a report published by online magazine The Intercept that contended the U.K. had spied on Argentina over the Falklands dispute, the Argentine embassy in London said in a statement. The meeting Thursday came a day after the U.K. had summoned the Argentine ambassador in London. Argentina continues to […]

Opinion: Can Argentina Capitalize On Its Vast Shale Reserves?

2 Apr 2015   Argentina

Argentina, once a regional energy leader, is now better known for financial busts and bombastic politicians than hydrocarbons prospects. Still, with a resource potential both vast and untapped, the nation has never been far from energy investors’ minds. The question today is just how much Argentina is willing to change and how this plays into a low oil price environment that is already negatively impacting investment elsewhere. Argentina’s deliberate efforts to appease some of its international creditors, combined with an overhaul of the nation’s hydrocarbons framework have the potential to lure foreign investors back. The promise of a change of government—and potentially a more market-friendly approach—later this year should add to the country’s appeal. […]

Premier’s CEO Seeks to Top Oil Target, Get Falklands Partner

11 Jul 2014   Argentina

Premier Oil Plc (PMO) ’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Tony Durrant has three immediate priorities to consolidate a share-price gain of more than 20 percent since he took the job this year. He plans to bring onstream the $1.4 billion Solan field located west of Shetland before the end of the year, find a partner to share a $5 billion investment to develop the Sea Lion project off the Falklands, and exceed an oil-production target. Durrant, who was promoted to the top job at the London-based explorer on June 25 after being chief financial officer for about nine years, also aims to double cash flow within five years to about $2 billion a year. “We have to continue to tick the boxes on the things we’ve been doing, continue to restore credibility, keep the production up, beat the guidance,” the CEO said in his first interview since taking […]

Russia eyes investments in Argentina’s energy sector

29 May 2014   Argentina

Russian Foreign Minister said Wednesday he was interested in encouraging more investments in the Argentine energy sector. Lavrov met in Moscow with Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman to discuss prospects for future energy cooperation as well as Argentina’s bid to join Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in the five-member economic association dubbed BRICS. Lavrov said the outlook for Russian investments in the Argentinean energy sector was strong. “We aren’t just interested in ways to diversify our trade relations but actually want to focus on investment,” he said . Russia expressed interest in Argentina’s energy market in 2012 following the nationalization of the country’s YPF energy company. Russian energy companies have a presence in Venezuela and Russian energy company Gazprom is exploring for natural gas in that country as part of a Russian consortium. Both sides have focused on development the Vaca Muerta shale site […]

Repsol leaves Argentina behind

24 May 2014   Argentina

MADRID, May 23 (UPI) –Spanish oil company Repsol said Friday it sold off its stake in Argentina’s YPF and the bonds it received from the nationalization of the state energy company. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed legislation in 2012 to seize the YPF shares held by the Spanish energy company Repsol said Friday it completed the sale of its assets in Argentina to JP Morgan Securities including the bonds it received as compensation for the expropriation of its 51 percent stake in YPF. “From the sale of the entire holding of Argentinean bonds, Repsol has obtained a total $4.99 billion in compensation for the expropriation,” Repsol said in a statement . “This extinguishes the $5 billion debt recognized by Argentina.” Repsol’s board of directors rejected a compensation offer made in June by the Argentine government. That deal would have given Repsol drilling rights to Argentina’s vast Vaca […]

Exxon finds oil, gas in Argentina’s shale

22 May 2014   Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, May 22 (UPI) –U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil said its affiliate in Argentina discovered oil and natural gas in the Vaca Muerta shale play in the country’s Neuquen province. ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina, alongside its regional partner, said it was carrying out additional analysis at the Bajo del Choique X-2 well after confirming an oil and gas discovery. Appraisal wells will need to be drilled before Exxon makes a commercial decision on the area, but the company expressed optimism about the potential. “Not all shales are alike, so our first Exxon Mobil-operated discovery in the Vaca Muerta play is a very positive sign that the shale in this area of Neuquen province holds great promise as a liquids-rich unconventional resource for Argentina,” Stephen Greenlee, president of Exxon Mobil Exploration Co. said in a statement Wednesday. The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration estimates Argentina has 774 trillion cubic […]