ExxonMobil proceeds with Vaca Muerta expansion

ExxonMobil Corp. announced plans to proceed with long-term oil development on Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block within Argentina’s Vaca Muerta basin. The project is expected to produce as much as 55,000 boe/d within 5 years. The project will include 90 wells, a central production complex, and export infrastructure connected to the Oldeval pipeline and refineries.

Jun 11th, 2019

ExxonMobil Corp. announced plans to proceed with long-term oil development on Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block within Argentina’s Vaca Muerta basin. The project is expected to produce as much as 55,000 boe/d within 5 years.

The project will include 90 wells, a central production complex, and export infrastructure connected to the Oldeval pipeline and refineries.

“We are encouraged by the excellent results of our Neuquen pilot project,” said Staale Gjervik, ExxonMobil senior vice-president of unconventional. “The reforms implemented by the federal and provincial governments have been critically important.”

If the expansion succeeds, ExxonMobil could invest in a second phase, which would produce as much as 75,000 boe/d. Timing of the second phase depends on various factors including initial project performance and market conditions.

“ExxonMobil has been an active player in the Neuquen basin since 2010 and in Argentina for more than 100 years,” said Daniel De Nigris, ExxonMobil’s lead country manager.

In 2015, the Neuquen provincial government granted ExxonMobil a 35-year concession in Vaca Muerta for the Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block. ExxonMobil began an exploration pilot in 2016 and now has three producing wells with three additional wells moving toward production.

A production complex, gas pipeline, and oil terminal have been operating since 2017 and were recently connected to the Pacific Gas pipeline by a 16-in. pipeline.

Bajo del Choique-La Invernada is a 99,000-acre block about 58 miles northwest of Anelo and 114 miles northwest of the city of Neuquen.

ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina is operator with 90% interest while Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen holds 10%. Under a joint venture agreement, Qatar Petroleum has 30% interest in ExxonMobil’s upstream units in Argentina.

More in Unconventional Resources