Pioneer acquires two Argentina blocks, will build NGL plant and pipeline

Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Irving, Tex., said it acquired two more blocks in Argentina. It also awarded a contract for construction of a natural gas liquids extraction facility at its Loma Negra complex.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 27 -- Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Irving, Tex., said it acquired two more blocks in Argentina. It also awarded a contract for construction of a natural gas liquids extraction facility at its Loma Negra complex in Argentina.

Pioneer paid $12.2 million to acquire the Anticlinal Campamento block in the Neuquen basin of Argentina from Alberta Energy Co. Ltd., Calgary. The 80,000-acre block, said Pioneer, extends its position west from current core operations in the Al Norte de la Dorsal area.

The Anticlinal Campamento block includes a mature oil field and a recently developed gas field, now producing 7 MMcfd. Pioneer estimated the block contains proved reserves of 31.7 bcf of gas and 170,000 b/d of oil.

The company also was successful bidder for the Cerro Vagon block in a Neuquen province land auction. It acquired the 169,195-acre block for a commitment to acquire 440 sq km of 3D seismic data and drill five exploratory wells over the next 4 years.

The block is next to Pioneer's Al Sur de la Dorsal core area in the Neuquen basin.

In the Al Norte de la Dorsal area, Pioneer has drilled 33 oil wells in the Bajo Barda Gonzales field since its discovery in June 2000.

Pioneer awarded the contract for construction of an NGL extraction facility at its Loma Negra gas complex near the Al Norte de la Dorsal area. The contractor was not named, and the cost of the contract was not revealed.

The plant is designed to process 75 MMcfd and extract up to 3,150 b/d of NGL. The liquids will be sold to local and export markets. The plant is expected to be in service by mid-2002.

Pioneer has also approved the construction of a 35-mile, 16-in. pipeline from the Loma Negra complex to the TGS NEUBA trunkline in central Neuquen. The pipeline will be able to transport 175 MMcfd of gas to the Buenos Aires market.

Construction is expected to begin in August and be completed in the fourth quarter.

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