ExxonMobil seeks to produce to 55,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day at the Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in first five years


Image: The Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in Argentina will include 90 wells and a central production facility. Photo: Image by skeeze from Pixabay.

ExxonMobil has decided to move ahead with the long-term development of Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in Vaca Muerta Basin, Argentina.

The Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block is located about 93km northwest of Añelo and 183km northwest of Neuquén city.

Within five years, the project is expected to produce up to 55,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day (boe/d). It will include 90 wells, a central production facility and export infrastructure connected to the Oldeval pipeline and refineries.

ExxonMobil unconventional senior vice-president Staale Gjervik said: “We are encouraged by the excellent results of our Neuquén pilot project and look forward to increased production through this significant expansion.

“The reforms implemented by the federal and provincial governments have been critically important to enabling the development of the Vaca Muerta basin as one of the country’s main energy resources.”

ExxonMobil could invest in second phase expansion to increase production

ExxonMobil, subject to successful expansion, plans to invest in a second phase of the project to produce up to 75,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day.

The firm said that the timing of the second phase of the project is based on initial project performance and business and market conditions, and other factors.

ExxonMobil lead country manager Daniel De Nigris said: “ExxonMobil has been an active player in the Neuquén basin since 2010 and in Argentina for more than 100 years.

“We will continue to work closely with government and our partners and will use our expertise and capabilities to bring jobs and other benefits to local communities.”

Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block is operated by ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina with 90% stake while the remaining 10% stake is held by Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén.

After securing a 35-year concession in Vaca Muerta, ExxonMobil began an exploration pilot program in 2016 at Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block, which now has three producing wells and three further wells will be moved into production.

ExxonMobil also commissioned a production facility, gas pipeline and oil terminal in 2017 and were recently connected to the Pacific Gas pipeline.