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Modern Yacoraite fracs eyed in northwestern Argentina

What could be the first modern day hydraulic fracturing in the Cretaceous Yacoraite limestone formation in Argentina is in advanced planning stages on the Puesto Guardian concession in the Noroeste basin, said President Petroleum Co. PLC.

President, which operates jointly and owns the 622 sq km license 50-50 with Petrolera San Jose, said it obtained encouraging signs from injectivity and pressure tests on the first three of eight shut-in Yacoraite wells in Pozo Escondido field to optimize frac design. The field produced a gross 320 b/d of oil equivalent in the first half of 2012 from Yacoraite at about 3,400 m.

President said the fracing campaign “will provide additional data on the potential of the limestone reservoir across the concession, where President has preliminarily identified an additional 66 million boe of oil in place” in three of the concession's five fields.

A second workover rig will arrive within 2 months, and first results are expected in October. Afterward a second phase will be sized based on the results of the initial wells with as many as eight wells to be treated.

Separately, the first six shut-in wells in Dos Puntitas and Pozo Escondido fields have been identified as recompletion candidates, including possible new perforations or beam pump repairs. A development drilling program in 2013 will initially focus on high impact wells in Dos Puntitas.

Meanwhile, a resolution of final awards is expected from Salta Province around mid-August. President would operate the Matorras, El Olcultar, and Pizarro exploratory license areas that total 5,948 sq km surrounding Puesto Guardian.

President sees gas-condensate potential in the Devonian, which produces to the north and in Bolivia, and hydrocarbon prospects in four shallower formations on Puesto Guardian, which runs until 2026.

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