Argentina: Vaca Muerta vertical evaluation planned

By OGJ editors

Crown Point Ventures Ltd., Calgary, said it will evaluate the Vaca Muerta shale in vertical wellbores as part of its 2012 drilling program in the Neuquen basin in Argentina.

Crown Point plans to launch in January a steady 10-24-well campaign over the next 24 months. The first three to four wells will be on the 15,000-acre El Valle concession in the San Jorge basin focusing on oil development in the Canadon Seco and Caleta Olivia formations. Part of the drilling will be to promising seismic leads on southwestern El Valle.

El Valle is producing 600 b/d of oil. Crown Point anticipates having 200 b/d of behind-pipe production capacity on stream in the first quarter of 2012 with another 200 b/d coming on after facility enhancements and field electrification are completed.

Once El Valle drilling is finished, Crown Point will move the rig to its 100% interest Canadon Ramirez concession in the San Jorge basin to drill two to three development wells on a 3D seismically defined western extension of Mata Magallanes Oeste field.

At the 1,020 sq km Laguna de Piedra concession in Neuquen, Crown Point plans to drill one to two high impact exploratory wells starting in the second quarter. Primary objectives are 3D seismically defined light oil targets in the Punta Rosada and Quintuco sandstones.

At the 1,241 sq km Cerro Los Leones block in northern Neuquen, Crown Point anticipates receiving environmental permits and will shoot 3D and 2D seismic before drilling on various high impact conventional plays and the unconventional Vaca Muerta shale.

Initially, Crown Point plans to kick off a two to four well program targeting the Neuquen Group, Vaca Muerta formation, and igneous intrusive rocks contained in the base of the Vaca Muerta on the western part of the concession and then drill two to four more wells targeting the Loncoche, Neuquen Group, and Huitrin formation resource plays on the northeast part.

Existing production close to Cerro Los Leones provides an understanding of the concession’s exploratory potential. The productive fields range from the Tertiary (Loncoche) to the Precuyo, with strong productive history of the igneous intrusive in the Vaca Muerta just south of the concession in the Valle de Rio Grande oil pools.

These pools have yielded 89 million bbl of oil and today produce 5,200 b/d of oil from the igneous intrusives in the base of Vaca Muerta. Other nearby fields include Llancanelo, Argentina’s largest heavy oil accumulation, as well as Cerro Fortunoso field producing 3,250 b/d of oil and Cajon de los Caballos at 483 b/d of oil.

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