Wintershall Dea and ConocoPhillips are set to advance the development of the significant Vaca Muerta shale resources in the Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte blocks
Germany-based independent natural gas and crude oil company Wintershall Dea has signed a sales and purchase agreement with ConocoPhillips, a US-based energy company to jointly develop the Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte blocks in the central Argentine province of Neuquén.
Under the agreement terms, Wintershall Dea will continue to operate the blocks, which have significant unconventional oil and natural gas resources in the Vaca Muerta prospective shale formation.
Wintershall Dea Latin America board member Thilo Wieland said: “ConocoPhillips’ extensive know-how developed across unconventional operations in US shale plays complements Wintershall Dea’s technological expertise and decades of local experience. We are excited about this new partnership as it will allow us to expedite the development of the two blocks.”
Wintershall Dea completed pilot projects in the blocks
The company has completed pilot projects and is currently testing production in both blocks.
Under the transaction, ConocoPhillips would acquire a 45% interest in the Aguada Federal block situated in the Neuquén basin and Wintershall Dea will be the operator, holding a 45% share. The Argentine provincial oil and gas company Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén will hold the remaining 10%.
In addition, ConocoPhillips will acquire a 50% stake in the nearby Bandurria Norte block.
The transaction is expected to be closed in 2019, subject to approval by the relevant authorities.
Wintershall Dea Argentina managing director Manfred Boeckmann said: “Today’s announcement underpins our firm belief in the potential of the Vaca Muerta shale play in Argentina. Wintershall Dea has many years of local experience and the technical know-how to help shape the country’s energy future in a sustainable and responsible manner.”
Wintershall Dea claims that it has been active in the province of Neuquén, Argentina for more than 20 years, and producing gas and oil from various conventional and tight gas reservoirs.
Furthermore, it holds shares in the San Roque and Aguada Pichana Este blocks, in addition to the Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte.