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