Wintershall signs farm-in-agreement with Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen
Kassel -- Ing. Guillermo Coco, President of Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen, Martin Bachmann, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall Holding and responsible for Exploration & Production and Gustavo Albrecht, Managing Director of Wintershall Energia, met in Villa La Angostura with the Governor of the Neuquen Province, Dr. Jorge Sapag, to receive the decree that ratifies the commercial contract and a joint venture agreement between Wintershall and Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen (GyP) for the exploration and a possible development of the hydrocarbon block Aguada Federal. The block comprises 97 sq km of the prospective Vaca Muerta shale, located in the Anelo department in the east of Neuquén province.
Wintershall acquires a 50% participation interest from GyP in the Aguada Federal block and assumes operatorship. In September 2013, both parties had already signed a letter of intent concerning this transaction.
During the exploration phase and in case of a further development, GyP will retain ownership of the exploration permit and eventual exploitation concession, while Wintershall will have a 50% participation in the joint venture agreement and will be the operator of the area.
GyP has been performing exploration activities in this area since 2012, including the drilling of one well. In the next two years Wintershall and GyP will evaluate the potential of the Vaca Muerta formation in a first exploration phase – including drilling of up to six wells with an investment of about $108 million (100%).
Following a successful exploration phase, GyP and Wintershall will continue with further development of the resource.
“This commitment and the partnership with GyP underline once more that Wintershall Energía is determined to continue investing in Argentina on a long-term basis to develop the country’s hydrocarbon resources”, said Martin Bachmann. “It also represents an excellent opportunity to deploy our technical experience in unconventional reservoirs in the promising and fast growing Vaca Muerta shale projects in the Neuquen Basin, one of the most prospective shale oil and gas regions in the world.”
Well positioned in Argentina for new resources
As the fourth-largest natural gas producer in the country, Wintershall Energia plays an important role in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas in Argentina. The company has been active in Argentina since 1978 – with natural gas production the main area of its activities. Wintershall Energia has working interests in 15 oil and gas fields with an annual production of 26 MMboe. The greatest share of production comes from offshore fields off the coast of Tierra del Fuego. Here Wintershall is participating in the development of the Total Austral operated new gas field Vega Pleyade, which is set to begin production in 2016.
Wintershall is also well placed for future growth in the region with the world’s third-largest reserves of unconventional resources. The company holds a significant acreage position in the promising Vaca Muerta shale oil and shale gas play where it just started exploration work. At the beginning of 2012, Wintershall Energía was awarded two exploration permits as operator for the blocks CN-V and Ranquil Norte in the province of Mendoza, where first exploration activities with 3-D-seismic were done in spring 2013.