Argentina's Shale Industry Lures International Oil Companies

YPF said that including money it has already spent on the project together with the new contribution outlined in the deal with Chevron marks a total investment of $1.5 billion.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc Argentine unit plans to triple shale investments on prospects that the government will change energy policies to spur development of the Vaca Muerta formation and cut fuel imports.

Shell Argentina will increase its shale capital expenditures to about $500 million next year from $170 million at year-end, Chief Executive Officer Juan Jose Aranguren said. The company that mainly refines crude in Argentina will boost test drilling in Vaca Muerta with a long-term goal of producing light crude from its shale operations, he said.

Argentina will need $300 billion to develop Vaca Muerta in a six-year period that would make the country oil sufficient starting in 2020 and will keep producing for as many as 40 years, Aranguren said yesterday in an interview at his Buenos Aires office.

Vaca Muerta, the world’s second-largest shale gas and the fourth-largest shale oil formation, is in the Neuquen province in southwestern Argentina.

An Argentine-Chinese group called Bridas announced recently it will invest $500 million to explore for shale oil in Vaca Muerta.

Argentine billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian announced that his company Corporation America continues to work with government controlled oil company YPF “to develop projects” which could involve a $500 million investment in the country’s rich shale deposits.


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