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Calgary firm to test Vaca Muerta in Neuquen subbasin

Americas Petrogas Inc., Calgary, said it will spud the La Hoya x-1 exploratory well in early June 2012 with the Jurassic-Cretaceous Vaca Muerta shale as primary objective on the 293,600-acre Totoral block in the Picun Leufu subbasin of the Neuquen basin in Argentina.

The well will be the first test of Vaca Muerta on the block, which Americas Petrogas operates with 90% working interest and in which Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen has 10%.

Projected to 2,000 m, La Hoya x-1 is 16.6 km northwest of the Canadon CN x-2 well drilled by YPF SA in 1962 that tested oil in the Jurassic Quebrada del Sapo sandstone. La Hoya x-1 is on a present-day syncline where the Vaca Muerta reaches its deepest position in the block and where higher formation pressure is expected, the company said.

Geochemical analysis indicates that the Vaca Muerta is in the early oil window. The Picun Leufu subbasin is a relatively unexplored depocenter that in addition to the Vaca Muerta offers opportunities in formations such as the Los Molles shale and the conventional Pre-Cuyo, Mulichinco, Quintuco, and Quebrada del Sapo.

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