Latin American oil and gas firm GeoPark has reported discovery of a new oil field following the drilling of an exploratory well in the Neuquen Basin in Argentine province Mendoza.

The discovery was made in the CN-V block which is jointly owned in a 50/50 partnership by GeoPark with BASF group subsidiary Wintershall Energía.

GeoPark said that its Rio Grande Oeste 1 exploration well encountered oil reserve having a potential net pay of 400ft. This was after Rio Grande Oeste 1 was drilled and completed to an overall depth of 5,500ft.

The mission of the exploratory well was to target the Grupo Neuquen formation where GeoPark could identify fifteen different potential reservoir sands at various depths in the 1,800-5,500ft range following the Rio Grande Oeste 1 drilling.

GeoPark revealed that presence of hydrocarbons was indicated in the upper, middle and lower zones as per the preliminary logging information even as a complete testing program is still in progress.

The CN-V block operator says that it has so far conducted production tests in four reservoir sands. Results of the tests suggest a production rate by natural flow of nearly 300bopd of 28.0 degrees API, having a water cut of 7%.

GeoPark stated that more testing and production history will be needed to establish the stabilized flow rates of the well.

GeoPark CEO James F. Park said: “We are pleased to be back operating and investing in Argentina where GeoPark’s technical team has a long and successful history of finding oil and gas and which also represents a highly attractive under-explored and under-developed hydrocarbon region with multiple new project opportunities.”

According to GeoPark, the Argentine discovery makes other adjacent and delineated light oil prospects in the CN-V block less risky for any drilling activities in the future. Besides, it will give GeoPark a reserve, production and cash flow base in the country.

GeoPark and Wintershall are presently assessing their next activities in the CN-V block which includes a plan to develop the Rio Grande Oeste oil field.

Image: One of the activities of Wintershall Energía in Argentina. Photo: courtesy of Wintershall Holding GmbH.