YPF identifies withdrawal areas as it directs focus on Vaca Muerta development

April 15, 2024
State-owned YPF has formally initiated a process to divest its rights over 55 conventional hydrocarbon areas in Argentina.

State-owned YPF has formally initiated a process to divest its rights over 55 conventional hydrocarbon areas in Argentina. The move is part of a company strategy to optimize its asset portfolio through asset transfer or reversion to provincial owners as it plans to focus on its Vaca Muerta assets with a $3-billion investment this year.

Notices have been sent by Spanish bank Santander to companies that previously expressed interest in the assets. Potential buyers will sign a confidentiality agreement to access a data room. Interested companies will have about 30 days to make specific offers.

Withdrawal plans 

In the province of Neuquén, YPF aims to withdraw from Neuquén Norte, which groups together mature fields Señal Cerro Bayo, Volcán Auca Mahuida, Don Ruiz, and Las Manadas and produces 2,665 b/d of oil and 121,000 cu m/day of gas. The Neuquén Sur cluster includes Al Norte del Dorsal, Octágono, and Dadin and has oil production of 1,266 b/d and gas production of 419,000 cu m/day.

In Mendoza, YPF aims to withdraw from 14 conventional areas divided into three clusters: Mendoza Norte, Mendoza Sur, and the Llancanelo cluster. Mendoza Norte includes mature blocks Barrancas, Río Tunuyan, Ceferino, Mesa Verde, La Ventana, and Vizcacheras. Oil production from the cluster, which lies in the Cuyana basin, is 11,725 b/d and gas production is up to 99,000 cu m/day. The Neuquén basin Mendoza Sur contains El Portón, Chihuido de la Salina, Altiplanicie del Payún, Cañadón Amarillo, Chuhuido de la Salina S, and Concluencia Sur. It produces 2,090 b/d of oil and 844,000 cu m/day of gas. The Llancanelo cluster holds Llancanelo and Llancanelo R and produces 1,818 b/d of oil and 2,000 cu m/day of gas.

Up for divestment in Río Negro is the SP-PB cluster containing the Señal Picada-Punta Barda area, which produces 4,022 b/d of oil and 86,000 cu m/day of gas, and the EFO cluster, containing Estación Fernández Oro field, with production of 1,389 b/d of oil and 890,000 cu m/day of gas.

In Chubut is the El Trébol cluster containing the El Trébol-Escalante area, with oil production of 7,112 b/d and gas production of 38,000 cu m/day, and the Campamento Central-Cañadón Perdido cluster with the homonymous area, which produces 1,546 b/d of oil and 5,000 cu m/day of gas. Chubut also holds El Tordillo, La Tapera, and Puesto Quiroga areas with total production of 416 b/d of oil and 15,000 cu m/day of gas. YPF will retain Manatiales Behr field.

Finally, the company plans to withdraw from Tierra del Fuego Poseidón and Magallanes fields, which hold production of 1,693 b/d of oil and 1.131 million cu m/day of gas.

YPF assigned an end-2023 value to the assets of $1.8 billion dollars. The company recorded a net loss of $1.277 billion in 2023, compared with a profit of $2.234 billion in 2022.