Argentina Unconventional resources
The country's shale gas and shale oil reservoirs rank among the largest in the world. Since more than four decades, gas production off the coast of Tierra del Fuego is a solid foothold in Argentina.
Wintershall Dea has been active in Argentina for more than 40 years. Today, the company has a stake in about 20 onshore and offshore fields. It acts as operator for three of them. Argentina not only has large amounts of conventional resources but is also one of the most important growth regions in the area of unconventional resources: It is number two in the world for its shale gas reservoirs and number four for its shale oil resources.
In the south of the country, off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, Wintershall Dea is a partner in the offshore concession Cuenca Marina Austral 1, CMA-1 for short. Natural gas, crude oil and small volumes of condensate are produced here from ten fields. Wintershall Dea has stakes in the fields Carina, Aires and Vega-Pléyade.
The second focus is on shale oil and shale gas pilot projects in the Neuquén Province in Central Argentina: Wintershall Dea is the operator for the Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte blocks in Neuquén, and is carrying out shale oil pilot projects there. The company is also the operator in the CN-V block in Mendoza. The block’s potential is currently being evaluated. The first exploration well struck oil.
The Aguada Federal block in the Neuquén province can be found within the Vaca Muerta rock formation. Huge amounts of oil and gas are located here in the shale rock. Aguada Federal is the first self-operated shale oil project of Wintershall Dea and technologically complex: Horizontal wells and hydraulic stimulation are necessary to produce the crude oil and natural gas. In the first six pilot wells, Wintershall Dea already succeeded in significantly reducing the costs per well.
Bandurria Norte is a neighbouring block of Aguada Federal, a shale oil pilot project is also to be carried out here. To save time, the derrick for the four horizontal pilot wells was placed on a sort of sleigh, thus enabling sections of identical depth to be drilled in series. The first oil was successfully produced in 2018.
The world’s southernmost production platform is located in the Vega Pléyade field. Put into operation in 2016 off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, the platform makes a significant contribution to Argentina’s natural gas supply with a daily production volume of 8.5 million cubic metres. Vega Pléyade is one of ten fields in the CMA-1 concession that are connected with each other via a complex infrastructure for production, processing and transport. The as yet undeveloped Fenix and Leo fields promise further potential.