They highlighted in a statement that the decision was made after successfully completing the pilot phase, which consisted of drilling 12 exploratory wells and which allowed for greater knowledge of the area.
The president of Shell Argentina, Sean Rooney, affirmed that the joint initiative with YPF “is a new investment decision driven by the commitment to the development of Vaca Muerta”.
“It is the first exponential step in our project for the area and a new investment decision driven by the commitment we have with the development of Vaca Muerta,” he added.
Rooney also explained that “the first pilot stage helped us to reach the moment of this decision with greater knowledge, efficiency and competitiveness. We want to thank the support of our partner YPF and the province of Neuquén along this path ”.
For his part, YPF’s VP of Non-Conventional Upstream, Pablo Iuliano, assured that the company controlled by the Argentine State will “add experience and knowledge in this new development that is launched in conjunction with Shell.”
“We are going to continue working in Vaca Muerta for the development of our country, covering domestic demand and exporting growing volumes of oil and gas,” said the YPF executive, reiterating the commitment to “generate value based on efficient growth and environmental and social sustainability, and a low carbon footprint energy supply ”.
From Shell they highlighted that this investment is in addition to those that the oil company has been making in the Sierras Blancas, Cruz de Lorena and Coirón Amargo Sur Oeste blocks, which have been under development since the end of 2018.
In these areas, located in the Vaca Muerta oil window, Shell tripled its installed production capacity with the recent start-up of a second oil and gas processing plant of 30,000 barrels of oil per day, in addition to the 12,000 barrels of oil per day already in existence.
The Anglo-Dutch company that will operate the development of the new block has an average production of 31,000 barrels per day in its assets in the country and has more than 100 wells drilled in Vaca Muerta.
The governor of Neuquén, Omar Gutiérrez, who participated in the announcement about the investment in Bajada de Añelo, specified that “the area is concessioned 50% and 50% in this strategic and historical alliance that these companies represent with all their trajectory, and that Shell is in charge of operating the development of the area ”.
He also explained that the move to massive development “includes the construction of the early treatment plant, with a processing capacity of 15 thousand barrels of oil and two million cubic meters of gas per day.”
Gutiérrez stressed that the investment also includes “the infrastructure for the evacuation of said production to the trunk systems,” and stressed that “it is estimated that 800 people will work directly in the construction of the treatment plant.”
The Bajada de Añelo area has an area of 204 square kilometers and is currently under a non-conventional concession in force until 2049.