Exxon Mobil Corp, the largest U.S. oil company, will spend up to $76.3 million to explore and develop shale oil and natural gas in Argentina’s Neuquén basin in collaboration with Canadian Calgary-based Americas Petrogas Inc.
Americas Petrogas told reporters that ExxonMobil has signed a subcontracting agreement for 255 square miles of exploration blocks in Los Toldos, in the western region of the Neuquén Basin.
According to Exxon spokesman Patrick McGinn, the Irving, Texas-based company will have more than 310,000 net acres in the Neuquén Basin as a result of its contract with Americas Petrogas.
Guimar Vaca Coca, managing director for Americas Petrogas in Argentina said, “We believe the next major shale development outside of North America will be in the Neuquén Basin,” El Cronista newspaper reported.
Americas Petrogas plans to drill a well in the fourth quarter at its blocs in the Neuquén basin, focusing on the Vaca Muerta formation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the Vaca Muerta formation could hold as much as 240 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. According to Americas Petrogas, Vaca Muerta has geological characteristics similar to reservoirs such as the Eagle Ford and Haynesville formations in North America.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com