May 2019, Vol. 246, No. 5


Argentina Plans Vaca Muerta Production Boost, Pipeline Buildout

Argentina’s energy minister reiterated his country’s commitment to build infrastructure and boost output of natural gas, citing plans for a new 22 MMcm/d pipeline from the Vaca Muerta shale producing region to Buenos Aires.

Minister Gustavo Lopetegui said at a Houston news conference that Argentina’s efforts to boost its natural gas output and supplies are progressing through new midstream projects and auctions, moves that are expected to balance the country’s supply and demand.

A pipeline construction contract to transport up to 22 MMcm of gas production per day from Argentina’s largest producing region, Vaca Muerta, to Buenos Aires, is expected by September.  The pipeline would be more than 400 miles long, according to early projections.

The Vaca Muerta shale play will require future investment of between $5 billion and $10 billion per year.

The projected investment is even greater than earlier forecast by Daniel Gonzalez, CEO of Argentina’s state oil company, YPF.  In October of last year, Gonzalez said YPF will invest between $4 billion and $5 billion per year through 2022 to boost oil and gas production and expand infrastructure expansion.

Argentina’s crude exports, and especially those of shale oil, will climb as overall production heads toward 100,000 bpd in the second half of this year, he also said.

The country also plans monthly auctions for offering domestic gas and will organize a separate gas auction beginning in May for offering winter gas at prices indexed to imported LNG. P&GJ

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