Qatar Petroleum, the world’s largest LNG producer, entered into an agreement with the US energy giant ExxonMobil, to acquire a 30 percent equity stake in two ExxonMobil units in Argentina.
The two units ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina and Mobil Argentina hold different hydrocarbon licenses for seven blocks in the Vaca Muerta play in the onshore Neuquén basin in Argentina, Qatar Petroleum said in a statement.
The two companies, with other partners, hold rights for seven blocks under unconventional exploration licenses with active drilling plans as well as exploitation licenses with pilot drilling and production.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president & CEO of Qatar Petroleum said, “this is an important milestone, as it marks Qatar Petroleum’s first investment in Argentina as well as its first significant international investment in unconventional oil and gas resources.”
He went on to add that the agreement is an important milestone on the road to expanding Qatar Petroleum’s international footprint, and goes hand in hand with the planned expansion of our local production from the North Field, which will further boost Qatar’s LNG production from 77 million to 100 million tons per year.
Commenting on the blockade against the state of Qatar, Al-Kaabi said the company’s oil and gas sector nor the previously planned expansion have been impacted.
The Vaca Muerta shale in the Neuquén province in western Argentina is considered among the most prospective unconventional shale oil/gas plays outside North America. Activity in the basin has picked up recently, mainly due to government incentives and rising domestic energy demand.
A number of international operators have established the presence in the basin and announced ambitious investment plans.
ExxonMobil’s unit, XTO Energy, is providing operational support to the two concerned Argentinian companies, including developing detailed appraisal and development plans for these assets, based on recently drilled wells and pilot production testing.