The first pipeline with private investment to extract oil from Vaca Muerta is inaugurated

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Such as oil and gas production in Dead cow is growing, the infrastructure projects accompany this evolution. A consortium led by Shell launched on Tuesday at tubing which will unite Sierras Blancas, in Neuquén, with Allen, Río Negro.

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The project, which required an investment close to 100 million dollars, is almost 105 kilometers long. It connects Sierras Blancas, a city where Shell has its depot, with Allen. From there it joins the Odelval infrastructure, of which final point is the port of Bahía Blanca.

The pipeline has the capacity to transport 125,000 barrels per day. It will be in the service of Shell, which owns 60% of the project, accompanied by Pan American Energy (25%) and plus petrol (fifteen%).

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Just as the extraction of gas from Vaca Muerta is still difficult, because there is no way to transfer it -which the pipeline from Vaca Muerta to Buenos Aires seeks to correct-, the evacuation capacity of oil production it also comes up against a lack of infrastructure.

The inauguration was attended by the Secretary of Energy, Flavia Royón. The presence of Sergio Massa was expected, who in the end did not participate in the act, even though he has announced that he will allow oil companies to return to the 929 scheme, which allowed them to send part of their dividends abroad.

“The biggest short-term basin technical challenge is in the evacuation of production from our operations. With this project, the first of these features with private investmentwe try to make a concrete contribution to the development of Vaca Muerta”, according to Ricardo Rodríguez, president of Shell Argentina.

Ricardo Rodríguez, number one of Shell, the company that led the investment in the construction site.  Juano Tesone photographic archive

Ricardo Rodríguez, number one of Shell, the company that led the investment in the construction site. Juano Tesone photographic archive

The Anglo-Dutch firm owns operations of upstream (exploration and production), divested the business of downstream (shipping fuel through the Shell brand) and now ventures into the midstreamwhich is the middle ring, the transport one.

The construction was entrusted to Techint and it was done in 9 months. The duct is 16 inches. oldelval – a company that is owned by several oil companies, headed by YPF, and already operates the main oil pipeline in the region- will be the operator

“The inauguration of this pipeline is a clear example of the coordination of national and provincial policies that allow for the investments necessary for the development of Vaca Muerta,” said Marcos Bulgheroni, CEO of the Pan American Energy group. will allow production to be evacuated from its managed areas Coirón Amargo Sureste (CASE) and Aguada Cánepa.

Businesses, the government and the opposition seem aligned in tacit coincidence. It is time to take advantage of the international energy situation, which has been altered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Even if the negative record of 2022 (with energy imports of 15,000 million dollars) still weighs, there are prospects for improvement for 2023. And that the take-off will take place between 2024 and 2025.

Oldelval, the consortium of oil companies, is also in a enlargement process. Production from Vaca Muerta exceeds the pipeline’s capacity, which is expected to reach the Atlantic around 2024 and 2025. From there, it could be exported to pretty much anything that faces that ocean.

Although it is present in the share capital of Oldelval, YPF owns another pipeline of its own, which could carry 360,000 barrels, up to the Punta Colorada terminal, in Río Negro. There would be a marine terminal after an investment of 1.2 billion dollars. The goal is also export.

Oil production exceeds 630,000 barrels per day. The local market consumes less, so export surpluses are created.

The construction of the transandine gas pipelinestarting in April 2023 e unite Neuquén with Chile. The neighboring country is an oil importer. Argentina has sold it gas, even though there have been several interruptions (contracts modified by Argentine political decisions) which have undermined the credibility of the local authorities. YPF leads this project, with partners such as Shell.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the the pipeline that will connect Vaca Muerta with Buenos Aires is scheduled for 20 June. The next phase would connect Buenos Aires with Santa Fe. Through various reinforcements or expansions, it can be connected with existing pipes reaching Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.

Source: Clarin

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