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Shale oil boom fuel Argentina’s dreams

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Posted October 4, 2013
Argentina is investing heavily in shale oil, hoping to ride it to energy self-sufficiency and end dependence on imports that cost billions of dollars each year.

 
Management facilities of Argentina's state-owned energy giant YPF are pictured    in Vaca Muerta, in the south-western Argentine
Management facilities of Argentina’s state-owned energy giant YPF are pictured in Vaca Muerta, in the south-western Argentine province of Neuquen, on July 11, 2013
Argentina is a pioneer in shale oil exploration and now the third biggest producer of it after China and the United States, according to US figures.

Its state oil concern YPF two years ago started production at Loma la Lata, a windswept Patagonian plain under which lies clay-rich soil that contains shale oil. It is part of a larger shale-rich expanse called Vaca Muerta, or dead cow.

To produce it for market, unconventional oil requires the same hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling techniques as shale gas.

And now, YPF is using its shale oil know-how to speed into operation about 200 unconventional wells in the Loma la Lata, Vaca Muerta area every year. It plans to spend $15 billion in a decade, reaching 1,500-2,000 of these wells.

“With just two of these areas of 2,000 wells each, Argentina can fully meet its domestic oil demand, and even have some left over to export,” said Pablo Iuliano, YPF’s unconventional oil manager.

Read more at: Phys.org

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