This level of production was achieved exploiting only 600 square kilometers of the 30,000 that make up Vaca Muerta proven reserves and with 10% of the total investment committed of 160 billion dollars. It is the largest investment in an energy pole in Latin America.
Neuquén has been historically the petrochemical industrial center of Argentina. Though oil was first
discovered and exploited in the San Jorge Gulf in the province of Chubut on the Atlantic Coast, soon Neuquén developed oil exploration sites at different points of the province, in spite to be known first for its production of apples, pears, and other fruits.
With the discovery of the Vaca Muerta oil fields (3rd largest shale gas & oil reserves in the world) Neuquén became one of the most attractive regions for investments not only of the oil & gas companies, but also their suppliers.
Currently 62% of the gas and 50% of the oil produced today in Neuquén is unconventional. This fact aligned with the price of oil set up the ideal conditions to accelerate investments.
The industry is now lobbying the Government to match the tax legislation of unconventional development sources with other countries, where there is an accelerated depreciation of fixed assets. This means that you can deduct more quickly the investment that was made in a machinery or in the construction of a civil infrastructure. By accelerating the deduction less income tax is paid.
THIRTY EIGHT OFFSHORE BLOCKS IN THREE OFFSHORE BASINS WILL BE TENDERED
It will be to perform exploration tasks. The concession terms will range from four to eight years. With the aim of further expanding the extraction of hydrocarbons within the national territory, through a decree, the Ministry of Energy will be instructed to launch a public, national and international tender to explore 38 offshore blocks in the Argentine sea. It is a long-term project since it deals with exploration tasks, and companies will not be obliged to develop the areas in the beginning.
The West Malvinas Basin is the area where more blocks are going to be tendered with 18, followed by the north of the Argentina Basin with 14, and finally the Austral Basin with 6 blocks.
The areas to be tendered cover 225,000 square kilometers (km2) in total. Specifically, they are 90,000 square kilometers (km2) of the West Malvinas Basin, 5,000 km2 of the Austral North Platform and, finally, 130,000 square kilometers of the Argentine Basin.
In May of this year, through Resolution 197/2018 of the Ministry of Energy, published in the Official Gazette, the national government updated the regulation for the granting of surface recognition permits in search of hydrocarbons in offshore areas.
According to the regulations, the period of validity of the Superficial Recognition permit will be four years with the possibility of extending four more years.
In this first block companies will not be forced to start drilling tasks unless they request the extension of the term.