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Argentina’s Vaca Muerta is the world’s quickest growing shale play

Oil & gas output reached new highs in July and August, and further growth is expected by year-end

Argentina’s Vaca Muerta is the world’s quickest growing shale play

Buenos Aires, October 5 - Neftegaz.RU. Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale play, having registered strong growth in oil & gas production and well activity levels in recent months, has emerged as the world’s fastest growing major shale basin, a Rystad Energy report shows.

A record number of wells were completed and put on production (POP), propelling the play’s oil & gas output to new highs in July and August, and charting a course for even more growth by year-end.
This surge from Vaca Muerta is poised to lift Argentina’s country-wide oil production to the highest level in years, with the play’s competitiveness also rising against US basins.

Artem Abramov, head of shale research at Rystad Energy, said:
  • There is no doubt that an average development in the Vaca Muerta oil zone delivers significantly higher production rates on a barrel of oil equivalent basis than an average US onshore tight oil well – with the Permian Delaware Basin being the only one that comes close to Vaca Muerta in this aspect
Although complete data for September is not yet available, there is no doubt that the 3rd quarter of 2021 will set a new record for the number of horizontal wells put on production in Vaca Muerta, with Rystad Energy estimating that the POP count will reach around 73 oil & gas wells.
The previous record was in the 4th quarter of 2018, when the count reached 59 wells.

The Vaca Muerta oil zone will probably see more than 50 wells put on production between July and September, while gas well POP activity will likely remain in the range of 20 to 25 wells for the quarter. While that means another record for oil wells alone, the gas well count has been higher in the past.

This surge of activity caused oil production from the basin to rise beyond 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the 1st time ever in July, reaching an average of 162,000 bpd for the month, followed by an equally strong August that saw production at 161,000 bpd.

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