Vista to invest $2.5 billion in Vaca Muerta by end-2026

Sept. 28, 2023
Between 2024 and 2026, Vista plans to bring 138 new shale oil wells into production, 33% more than previously announced in the strategic plan.

Vista Energy SAB de CV, the second-largest shale oil producer in Argentina, aims to increase daily production by 25% by 2026 compared with a target set in 2021, with a goal to reach 100,000 boe/d.

President and chief executive officer Miguel Galuccio, during an investor day presentation, said the company plans to invest $2.5 billion in Vaca Muerta over the next 3 years, a 60% increase from the amount presented in the previous plan. 

Galuccio said the company holds more than 200,000 acres “in the productive heart of the formation,” and that Vista’s goal is “to continue increasing investment to boost greater activity, aiming for production of 100,000 boe/d by 2026 and 150,000 boe/d by 2030.” 

In first-half 2023, Vaca Muerta accounted for nearly half of Argentina’s oil production and 70% of its crude oil exports, he said. “Its development has demonstrated its capacity to generate significant additional exports, potentially creating a virtuous cycle of foreign currency revenue and investments that will drive the country's economic and social growth,” he continued.

In a July meeting with investors, Vista said it added 150 wells to its inventory in parts of its shale blocks. Between 2024 and 2026, the company expects to place 138 new oil wells into production, a 33% increase from its previous plan. The production growth is expected to lead to greater operational efficiency, reducing extraction cost to $4.00/boe in 2026 from $5.50/boe in 2023, a 33% improvement compared with the previous target of $6.00/boe.

The projections would lead to a doubling of revenue, reaching $2.35 billion in 2026 assuming a realized oil price of $65/bbl in real terms. This represents a 42% increase from the previous target of $1.65 billion.

Vista expects to double adjusted EBITDA, reaching $1.7 billion by 2026, a 55% increase from 2021 projections. With the updated projections, Vista expects to generate $5 billion in operating cash flow 2022-26, compared with $3.4 billion expected in the previous plan.

Vista also reaffirmed its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2026, reducing emissions intensity to 7 kg of CO2 equivalent per boe and offsetting remaining emissions through carbon credits generated by nature-based solutions projects executed by its subsidiary AIKE.