Argentina is targeting Palermo Aike, a field promising new oil reserves with an extension of 12,600 square kilometers, the second most important formation to be explored after Vaca Muerta.
The importance of the field lies in the fact that it could have resources equivalent to 10 billion barrels of oil, according to a joint statement issued by the Argentine state-owned company YPF and Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC).
Both companies, dedicated to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, signed an agreement to drill the first exploratory well in Palermo Aike.
If promising results are obtained, the companies will invest in new wells and facilities within the area.
The project is marked by optimism.
Hugo Eurnakian, president of CGC, assured that the estimated resources in the field “are equivalent to Argentina’s current production for 50 years”.
The exploration, which will be in charge of YPF, will start in the second half of 2023.
In March, the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, said that Palermo Aike represents a third of Vaca Muerta’s potential in terms of barrels of oil and gas.
He also pointed out that the formation “offers Argentina the possibility of multiplying its energy-exporting dream”.
Palermo Aike is estimated to have gas reserves of 130 TCF (trillion cubic feet, a measure commonly used to measure reserves) and 6.6 billion barrels of crude oil, while Vaca Muerta has 308 TCF of gas and 16 billion barrels.
The productive zones are expected to be located at a depth of 2,100 meters and may extend up to 4,300 meters, reported the official agency Télam.
In addition to its hydrocarbon potential, Palermo Aike is similar to Vaca Muerta due to its geological conditions: its spatial extension, the depth of the target (at 3,000 and 3,500 meters), and its marine origin.
The project is considered “a strategic opportunity to expand the unconventional frontier to other geographical areas” and to use the knowledge acquired by YPF in Vaca Muerta.
EXPORTING ENERGY, AN ARGENTINE DREAM
One of the Argentine government’s objectives is to consolidate the country as an energy exporter at the regional and world levels.
In this sense, Massa has highlighted that Argentina has the second-largest gas reserves in the world and the fourth-largest oil reserves and that the country has “sown the seed to become an energy exporting country”.
Argentina started 2023 with record values in hydrocarbon production, surpassing the volume reached since 2008.
The upward trend continued during the first quarter due to oil production of 8,936 cubic millimeters, 11.4% more compared to the same period in 2022, according to data from the Energy Secretariat.
The Neuquina Basin – where the Vaca Muerta field, considered the most important in the country, is located – increased its production by more than 20% compared to the previous year.
“We have the enormous dream that in the next 20 years, gas and oil will transform Argentina to become the export matrix that will feed economic development”, said Massa in March during the presentation of YPF’s strategic plan for the next 25 years.
With information from Sputnik
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