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Argentina’s Pampa to invest $200 mil in Vaca Muerta shale oil pilot – Platts

  • Eight wells to be drilled in pilot
  • Development stage calls for reaching 200,000 b/d output
Vaca muerta field, Pampa is diversifying its gas-strong upstream business

Charles Newbery, S&P Global Platts

Energiesnet.com 08 11 2023

Pampa Energía, the fifth-biggest natural gas producer in Argentina, plans to invest $200 million in an oil pilot project in the Vaca Muerta shale play with a goal of reaching 200,000 b/d in production in the next few years, helping to diversify its gas-strong upstream business, company executives said Aug. 10.

The company plans to drill two four-well pads and build related facilities and infrastructure for the pilot on its Rincón de Aranda block, beginning in the first quarter of 2024, executive director of exploration and production Horacio Turri said on a conference call with investors.

The target is to complete the pilot by the end of 2025, when the company will consider taking the project to the full-scale development phase, Turri added.

If the development phase is pursued, production from Rincón de Aranda could reach 200,000 b/d in 2027 or so, he said.

“We will need additional transportation capacity in order to evacuate the full production of the block,” Turri said.

Diversifying production

Pampa acquired control of Rincón de Aranda in June by swapping a 100% stake in a wind farm with France’s TotalEnergies in exchange for that company’s 45% stake in the block, a move aimed at diversifying its gas-focused upstream business. The upstream portfolio is now at around 90% gas and 10% oil, according to company data.

On the conference call, Pampa CEO Gustavo Mariani said the goal is “to become a player in oil production.”

The company has already drilled and tested one well on Rincón de Aranda.

“We are projecting an expansion in oil production and that’s why we have done this transaction of the acquisition of Rincón de Aranda,” Mariani said. “If the wells deliver what we are expecting they will deliver, the acquisition would be an exceptional transaction in terms of cost per acreage.”

Turri said the company may consider expanding its oil acreage in Vaca Muerta, one of the world’s biggest shale plays.

“We are always looking for new opportunities,” he said. “If the price is right, we eventually might be willing to consider them.”

spglobal.com 08 10 2023

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