Canal Argentina y Uruguay

Argentina: YPF Seeks Partnership with Petrobras for Vaca Muerta Play.

Argentine state-owned oil company YPF wants to form a partnership with Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras to produce gas in the Vaca Muerta shale play in Patagonia, media reports said Tuesday.

“I would love to do more things with Petrobras,” YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio told ValorPro, a Web site operated by the Sao Paulo business daily Valor Economico.

Petrobras’s presence in an area near Vaca Muerta will bolster gas production in the shale formation, Galuccio said.

“Petrobras is already in a gas exploration area in Neuquen,” the province where most of Vaca Muerta is located, and its participation in exploiting the giant shale formation would help Argentina stop “the drop in gas production” and “reduce the volume of imports,” which have soared since 2007, Galuccio said.

YPF signed an agreement with U.S.-based supermajor Chevron last year to develop the massive Loma Campana play within Vaca Muerta, which is in southwestern Argentina.

The agreement between YPF and Chevron calls for $1.24 billion in investment in the first phase of project development and $1.6 billion in the second phase of the development of Loma Campana.

YPF also signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia’s Petronas to work on developing the shale play.

YPF announced the discovery of non-conventional oil and natural gas reserves in Vaca Muerta in 2011 after successful results in the exploration phase.

Environmentalists oppose the development of the non-conventional oil play.

Millions of liters of water, thousands of tons of sand and chemicals will be used to extract oil and gas from the field using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a controversial method that involves pumping a pressurized fluid – usually composed of water, sand and chemicals – into a shale formation to create a fracture in the rock layer and release trapped petroleum or natural gas.


Fuente >  LA Herald Tribune