The government of the province of Neuquén announced the granting of a concession for the unconventional exploitation of hydrocarbons (CENCH), to the Chevron company as operator and owner of the area.
This is the El Trapial Este block, which has an area of 282.80 square kilometers, and is derived from the El Trapial-Curamched Area Exploitation Concession, also under the ownership of the Chevron company. According to the fluid distribution window, in El Trapial Este, the Vaca Muerta Formation is a producer, from west to east, of gas condensate, light oil and black oil.
In the pilot stage, which includes a period of 3 years, it is planned to invest 65.7 million dollars to drill, complete and start up 5 horizontal wells -with a side branch of between 2,500 and 3,000 meters and 38 to 46 fracture stages each. one-, bound for the Vaca Muerta Formation. Within this framework, and as part of the pilot plan, an investment of 13 million dollars is added for the construction of support infrastructure.
In this way, the total disbursement will be 78.7 million dollars. On this point, it should be noted that these five wells of the pilot plan are added to the 7 wells already existing in the area, with which the company has carried out the risking of the same.
Subject to the results of the pilot plan, the company proposes a continuous and significant development of the area in a sustained manner.
The Concession is granted in accordance with the criteria established in Resolution No. 53/20 of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, modified by Resolution of said ministry No. 142/2021 and both ratified by Provincial Decree 2183/2021. According to the parameters established therein, for the areas in which no activity is committed to be executed during the Pilot Plan, it appears that the company Chevron Argentina S.R.L must pay an Area Extension Bonus of 40 million dollars.
It is worth noting that this project represents income for the province for a total of 50.2 million dollars that integrate the concepts of Corporate Social Responsibility (5.9 million dollars), Exploitation Bonus and the Extension Bonus of the area already mentioned, to be paid in three installments of 16.7 million dollars.
Gutiérrez assured that the unconventional concession for El Trapial “is fundamental and decisive to continue expanding the territorial base of the development of Vaca Muerta towards the north of the province. It allows reaffirming, relaunching and concretizing all this potential and assured that the province is in "the acceleration stage of the development of Vaca Muerta".
“We are connecting Neuquén with the world. This implies a new development in the northern area of Vaca Muerta, generating new jobs for people from Neuquén throughout the area of Rincón de los Sauces and influence”, highlighted the president.
Regarding the firm, Gutiérrez specified that "according to what was discussed with the company and subject to the results of the wells and market conditions, it is planned to do the possible drilling and completion of 15 wells in a complementary manner."
For his part, Clay Neff, President for Chevron's Exploration and Production Company in the Middle East, Africa and South America, stated that "We have a long history of developing world-scale projects. Our unconventional projects in Argentina are a key component of the global unconventional portfolio. conventional Chevron and we are committed to supporting the country in the development of its energy resources.
"This concession is an important milestone for Chevron Argentina, since it will allow unconventional development in the eastern zone of El Trapial. We are very excited to begin this new stage in our historic field, and we hope to continue reinforcing our commitment to the community and our presence in the country," said Eric Dunning, Managing Director for Chevron Latin America.
With this new project, the Province adds 43 unconventional shale and tight projects, covering an area of 9,532 square kilometers, which represents 32% of the total area of Vaca Muerta in the province of Neuquén.
The current pilot stage of the concessions means investments of 8,844 million dollars and the drilling of 565 wells. For its part, and according to the results of the pilot phase, investments of 196 billion dollars and the drilling of more than 13,800 wells are expected.
El Trapial – Curamched
The Chevron company continues to be the owner and operator of the exploitation concession over the 'El Trapial' and 'Curamched' lots, whose area is now reduced to 166.18 square kilometers, which it had acquired in 1999 and was extended by the Province of Neuquén in 2011 from the renegotiation of areas within the framework of Provincial Law 2615.