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Neuquen block holds unconventional targets

By OGJ editors
– Apache Corp.’s Argentine subsidiary and Americas Petrogas Inc., Calgary, plan to explore a western Neuquen basin block in Argentina that has conventional oil and gas and unconventional gas exploration targets.

Energicon SA, a private Argentine company, is also a party to the agreement, which covers the 249,943-acre Huacalera block. Drilling is to start in late fourth quarter 2010 or the first quarter of 2011.

Apache will carry Americas Petrogas in drilling an exploratory well to 13,400 ft to penetrate the Lower Cretaceous Mulichinco, Upper Jurassic Tordillo, and intervening Vaca Muerta formations. Mulichinco and Tordillo are important producing zones. Old wells encountered tight gas.

Vaca Muerta is a thick source rock that offers shale gas potential. Depending on the successful testing of the well from various formations, Apache also agreed to carry out at its own cost a 100 sq km 3D seismic program.

Apache will operate with 51% working interest, Americas Petrogas and Energicon will have 19.5% each, and Gas y Petroleo de Neuquen will have 10%.

The agreement is subject to government and other approvals that are expected by the end of November.

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