By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 14 – Total Austral has acquired interests in four Neuquen basin blocks in partnership with Argentina’s YPF and plans to drill exploratory wells to shale gas formations in 2011.
Total will operate the Aguada de Castro and Pampa las Yeguas II licenses with 42.5% interest, and YPF will operate the Cerro Las Minas license, which Total has 40% interest, and the Cerro Partido license, Total 45%.
Total is operator and holds 85% stakes in the La Escalonada and Rincon La Ceniza blocks in the same shale gas play since early 2010. Total is conducting geological, seismic, and petrophysical studies on those two blocks and carried out similar studies on its long-held Aguada Pinchana and San Roque blocks, in which its interests are 27.3% and 24.7% interest, respectively.
Total holds a combined 380,000 net acres prospective for shale gas on all of the blocks.