State-owned Integracion Energetica Argentina SA (IEASA) has tendered for pipe to build the 656-km first stage of its Vaca Muerta natural gas transmission pipeline. Stage 1 would carry roughly 850 MMcfd from Neuquen province through Buenos Aires province north to Santa Fe by end-2023.
The pipeline’s full capacity would be 1.5 bcfd, attained through modifications to, and interconnection with, the existing Gasoducto Norte.
Vaca Muerta shale has technically recoverable reserves of 308 tcf of gas and 16 billion bbl of crude oil. It is geographically comparable with Eagle Ford shale in southern Texas. Production as of December 2020 was 900 MMcfd of gas and 124,000 b/d of oil.
Companies producing in the area include state-YPF SA, Tecpetrol, Chevron Corp., Shell PLC, Pan American Energy LLC, Vista Oil & Gas SAB, ExxonMobil Corp., and Pluspetrol SA. Vista earlier this year acquired Wintershall DEA Argentina SA’s 50% operating interest in Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte blocks, the 25,231 net acres giving it 100% ownership of the blocks and increasing its total Vaca Meurta acreage to 183,084 (OGJ Online, Jan. 18, 2022).