Oil services provider takes plunge into shale in NeuquénThursday, April 13, 2017
Schlumberger to invest US$390 million in Vaca Muerta
Argentina’s state-run oil company YPF SA and Schlumberger AG, the world’s top oil services provider, have reached a deal to invest US$390 million in the Vaca Muerta shale formation, the companies said yesterday.
In a letter to the Buenos Aires stock exchange, YPF said a division of Schlumberger would invest the full amount and obtain a 49 percent stake in the 228.5 square kilometre Bandurria Sur concession, where the two companies would develop a two-phase shale oil pilot project.
President Mauricio Macri was elected in late 2015 promising to drop the trade and currency controls that had scared off foreign investment during the previous administration. Over the past 16 months he has moved to improve the business environment in part by cutting labour costs in the vast but barely tapped Vaca Muerta shale formation in Patagonia.
“We are very pleased with what the administration is doing and clearly we have confidence that Argentina as a country has a very rich resource base,” Schlumberger’s president of operations, Patrick Schorn, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“So yes, we are very pleased about where Argentina is heading.”