Chevron, YPF to continue Vaca Muerta development

Chevron Corp. and YPF SA, Buenos Aires, will continue development of Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation. Chevron says it will build off the progress of its 2013 drilling program with YPF, investing in large-scale drilling and production in the 96,000-acre Loma Campana concession.

The initial development agreement was signed in July 2013 by Chevron subsidiaries after several months of negotiations with the Argentinian government (OGJ Online, July 16, 2013). It represented the first significant investment in the country since YPF was renationalized in 2012 when President Cristrina Fernandez de Kirchner expropriated 51% of the company from Repsol YPF SA, Madrid.

Chevron says the continuing Vaca Buena development will include exploration for shale oil and gas resources in a 49,000-acre area of Chihuido de la Sierra Negra concession, one of the main producing areas of the Neuquen basin in west-central Argentina.

“This is a significant step in our subsidiaries’ joint efforts with YPF to develop one of the most exciting shale plays in the world today,” said George Kirkland, Chevron vice-chairman. “Vaca Muerta could become an important contributor to Chevron’s long-term production growth.”

In 2012, Repsol said a large investment in Vaca Buena could double oil and gas production in Argentina in 10 years. At that time, Ryder Scott Co. LP, Houston, estimated that the entire 7.4-million acre play had resource potential of 116 million boe proved, probable, and possible reserves, 1.525 billion boe of contingent reserves, and 21.167 billion boe of prospective resources (OGJ Online, Mar. 27, 2012).

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