YPF signs shale deal with Bulgheroni
BY KEN PARKS
BUENOS AIRES -- YPF said that it has struck a deal with a company linked to the local Bulgheroni family to invest $1.5 billion together during the next two years to develop the country's vast shale gas and oil resources. The companies will drill 130 wells in 2013 and 2014 under a pilot program in the Vaca Muerta formation in the southwestern province of Neuquen, followed by as many as 1,000 additional wells, YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio said at a press conference.
The agreement would see YPF eventually transfer a 50% interest in two areas that together comprise 663 square kilometers in Vaca Muerta, which is home to most of Argentina's shale oil and gas deposits. As part of agreement, the Bulgheroni company will also obtain $500 million in financing for YPF to fund further investment in the areas the two companies will develop together.
The Bulgheroni family controls Bridas Energy and have a stake in Bridas a joint venture between BEH and Cnooc. Earlier Pan American Energy, which is owned by BP and Bridas Co, said it had signed a deal with the Argentine government to invest $3.4 billion between 2013 and 2017 in natural gas exploration and production. YPF's partnership with the Bulgheroni family comes less than two weeks after it announced a similar arrangement with Chevron. That agreement would see Chevron and YPF spend about $1 billion to drill 100 wells in a 290 sq km area in Vaca Muerta. The results of that pilot program will help the companies finalize plans to drill an estimated 2,000 wells for about $15 billion.
YPF is in talks with other companies and that another partnership could be announced during the first half of 2013.
Dow Jones Newswires