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19 FEBBRAIO 2019

22:29 - Argentina

ARGENTINA: VACA MUERTA SHALE OIL PRODUCTION GREW 52% AND GAS 193% IN 2018

(ICE) - ROMA, 19 FEB -

Vaca Muerta, one of the world's biggest shale plays, has attracted global majors like Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell, many of which started shifting into full development on blocks in the play last year. Argentina's Energy Secretariat has forecast total oil production could double to 1 million b/d in 2023 from 2018.

Neuquen's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said the province's total oil production rose 12.7% on the year to an average of 116,739 b/d in 2018, the highest in 7 years. Crude production reached its highest last year in December, when it averaged 130,388 b/d, it added.

Shale oil production increased 52% year on year in 2018, reaching a peak of 78,189 b/d in December, or 60% of total production that month. The rise in shale oil production along with a 27% increase in tight oil, which accounted for 3% of the province's total crude production, helped to compensate for a 12% decline in conventional production as reserves matured.

Loma Campana, a block under development by Chevron and Argentina's state-backed YPF, saw its oil production increase 18% on the year in 2018, taking its share of the province's total oil production to 30%. The production from La Amarga Chica, a project of YPF and Malaysia's Petronas, increased 126%.

Likewise gas production in the province hit a 10-year high in 2018, rising 10% on the year to 66.6 million cu m/d. Production reached a peak of 69.8 million cu m/d in August, at the height of winter. The overall growth in production was led by shale gas, which rose 193% on the year in 2018, helping to offset a 19% decline in conventional gas production. The production of unconventional gas -- including shale and tight -- rose 46% on the year in 2018.

(ICE BUENOS AIRES)