ExxonMobil authorises Argentina expansion in 'Dead Cow' shale

ExxonMobil is moving forward with a major effort to develop at least 90 wells in Argentina’s onshore shale.

In recent years, shale developers have sought to translate their success from the onshore U.S. to Argentina’s major Vaca Muerta shale play, which is Spanish for “dead cow.” Exxon previously started smaller-scale production back in 2017.

Although Exxon Mobil isn’t giving project costs, it’s a multibillion-dollar development in what’s known as the Vaca Muerta’s Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block.

The shale region that dates back to the late Jurassic Period is known for its oil and gas potential as well as its numerous discoveries of dinosaur bones.

Exxon said the project is expected to produce up to 55,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day within five years. The project also includes setting up central production and export facilities that connect to existing pipeline and refinery networks.

If the expansion is successful, Exxon Mobil said it may invest in a second phase to produce up to 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. There’s no timeline attached to a potential second phase yet.

The Bajo del Choique-La Invernada is a 99,000-acre block, located 58 miles northwest of Añelo and 114 miles northwest of Neuquén city.

The full version of this article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

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