Wintershall Dea has agreed to divest its 50% operated stake in the Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte concessions in the Vaca Muerta shale oil play in Argentina to Vista Oil & Gas for $140m.

The deal gives Vista Oil & Gas 100% ownership in the two concessions located in the province of Neuquén. The company had acquired the other 50% stake in the blocks from ConocoPhillips in September 2021.

Through the transaction with Wintershall Dea, Vista Oil & Gas will acquire 25,231 net acres to increase its total acreage in the Vaca Muerta shale oil play to 183,084 acres.

Besides, Vista Oil & Gas will expand its Vaca Muerta portfolio with the addition of up to 150 new well locations to take the total identified new well locations to up to 850.

Vista Oil & Gas chairman and CEO Miguel Galuccio said: “This deal is a unique opportunity that allows us to continue expanding our leadership in Vaca Muerta and to reaffirm our commitment to its development by incorporating high-potential assets, in which we plan to capture significant operational synergies.

“As operators of the blocks, we plan to replicate our operating business model based on efficiency, safety and, mainly, sustainability.”

The Aguada Federal concession, which is located in the black oil window of Vaca Muerta, spans an area of 24,058 gross acres. Total production from the concession in Q3 2021 was 718 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The Bandurria Norte concession, on the other hand, is located in the volatile oil window of the shale oil play. It spans a surface area of 26,404 gross acres.

For Wintershall Dea, the deal will enable it to focus on potential future gas projects in the Tierra del Fuego and Neuquén provinces in Argentina.

Wintershall Dea board member responsible for the regions Russia, Latin America and for transportation Thilo Wieland said: “Argentina is and remains an important core country for Wintershall Dea’s gas production in our global portfolio.

“With the sale of our interests in Aguada Federal and Bandurria Norte, we are focusing our activities in Argentina on gas production. Here we have a strong position in the country, with projects in Tierra del Fuego and Neuquén, that contribute significantly to Argentina’s energy supply.”

The final closing of the deal is expected to occur after the issuance of a decree by the Neuquen province approving the assignment of the assets to Vista Oil & Gas.

Separately, Wintershall Dea has decided to exit from all its operations in Brazil, which includes participating stakes in nine exploration licenses, spread over the Potiguar, Campos, Ceará, and Santos basins.

Wieland said: “This decision is the result of a very thorough analysis of our global portfolio and evaluation of individual projects and how they fit with our long-term strategy.”