Earlier today I posted a link to a story whose "analysts" said that the shale boom was about to go bust (no timeline given). Apparently Argentina did not get the memo. From Platts S&P Global (see link above), data points:
- Argentina's largest fossil fuel producer, YPF, will now focus on shale for production growth
- will shift away from conventional oil and gas
- the shift is aimed at reversing an expected decline in production this year
- YPF's production dropped almost 12% year-over-year, 1Q19
- dragged down by -- wow, look at this -- a 20% plunge in natural gas production
- the plays are mentioned
- shale oil production is offsetting the conventional production decline
- YPF is running six shale oil pilots and expects to go into full-scale development on two of them in 2020 and 2021
- partnering with Schlumberger, Equinor, Chevron
- expects to take its Vaca Muerta rig count to 18 by the end of the year; up 14 from current level
- target: drill more than 100 horizontal wells this year
- to handle the expected increase in shale oil output, the company is expanding the oil treatment capacity at a plant in Loma Campana to 130,000 b/d from 75,000 b/d by the end of the year, and building two others with 50,000 b/d of capacity each
With gas, the company is scaling back investment plans, which is one of the reasons for the drop in production.
A surge in gas production over the past few years, led by Vaca Muerta, has created a glut of supply, forcing YPF and other companies to slow production, and even temporarily shut wells. A setback stems from the sharp seasonal fluctuations in domestic demand, which go to more than 140 million cu m/d in the cold season from 90 million cu m/d in the October to April warm and mild seasons.