By October 13, 2015 Read More →

Argentina shale assets being developed by XTO, ExxonMobil

Still early days for shale play, says head of ExxonMobil Argentina

ExxonMobil is working with subsidiary XTO Energy to develop Argentina’s biggest shale play, says Daniel De Nigris, CEO of ExxonMobil Argentina.


Daniel De Nigris, CEO, ExxonMobil Argentina.

“We are doing the evaluation of the assets,” De Nigris told Platts last week at the Argentina Oil & Gas Expo in Buenos Aires. “We are evaluating the options for potential developments.”

ExxonMobil transferred its Argentine unconventional assets to XTO Energy – which specializes in the drilling of unconventional oil and natural gas – at the start of 2015, De Nigris said.

“The [next] step is the detailed evaluation of the potential of our assets, the existing infrastructure in the blocks,” as well as how to achieve the efficiency and productivity needed to cut drilling and completion costs to economically viable levels, he told Platts.

De Nigris says the evaluation is critical to proper well design and locations, as well as determining the potential production from the fields.

“This takes time,” he said.

De Nigris says ExxonMobil has had very good results from several blocks in the north of the Neuquen Basin, away from infrastructure and the production activities of other companies, such as Total, Shell, and Chevron.

De Nigris said “there is potential on all of its blocks” for a variety of products, including volatile oil to black oil, wet gas and gas.

Tomas Hess, VP of external affairs for ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina, says ExxonMobil’s approach for Vaca Muerta involves “comprehensive planning.”

“To be efficient we have to evaluate each of the blocks and then decide how the pilot will be,” he said. “But we are still in the stage of exploration and evaluation,” he told Platts.

“I believe that more than working to have the development of Vaca Muerta today, we have to work so that the development is sustainable for 40 years.”

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