Norway's Statoil and Argentina’s energy company YPF have entered into an agreement to jointly explore the shale Bajo del Toro block in the Neuquén Basin onshore Argentina that sees Statoil enter the South American country for the first time.
The Bajo del Toro exploration permit covers an area of 157 km2 (38,800 acres), located in the Neuquén Basin in the west-central part of Argentina. The Vaca Muerta formation is the main target in the basin.
Statoil will enter the Bajo del Toro exploration permit in the Neuquén Basin as a partner with a 50 per cent participating interest, with the operator YPF retaining a 50 per cent interest. As part of the deal Statoil will fund 100 per cent of the cost of certain future activities in the block.
The preliminary agreement was signed yesterday in Geneva by Statoil’s executive vice president for Exploration, Tim Dodson, and YPF’s vice president for business development & development engineering, Sergio Giorgi.
The deal will be finalised in the next few months and before closing, the agreements have to be approved by the Neuquén provincial authorities.
"The opportunity has an excellent fit with Statoil’s sharpened strategy, and is in line with our exploration strategy of delivering profitable, high-quality resources,” says Tim Dodson.
“Bringing in a new international player like Statoil into the country shows confidence in Vaca Muerta as a promising shale play and in YPF as a leading operator. We are pleased to expand the cooperation between both companies,” said YPF Chairman, Miguel Angel Gutierrez.