Wintershall in Argentina
Wintershall has been producing hydrocarbons, especially natural gas, in Argentina for more than 35 years and is now the fourth-largest gas producer in the country. The company is active in the central Argentinean provinces Neuquén and Mendoza, as well as in the south of the coast of Tierra del Fuego. The fully owned subsidiary Wintershall Energía S.A currently holds working interests in 15 oil and gas fields overall and produces some 25 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) annually.
Tierra del Fuego increase in production
Wintershall has been active in Tierra del Fuego in the south of Argentina since 1979. In 1989 the company began with oil production in the Hidra field, situated in the Austral Basin in the province Tierra del Fuego. As a partner, Wintershall has continuously made efforts to increase natural gas production from the offshore fields ever since. These improvements have been made possible by applying cutting edge technology combined with high investments.
In 2015, about 17 million cubic meters per day of natural gas were produced from the CMA-1 area, including the Carina and Aries fields in which Wintershall holds a 37.5 percent participation interest. Other partners are Total as operator and Pan American Sur. To mitigate the natural production decline of the fields, new wells were drilled in May 2014 in the Carina field.
In February 2016, Wintershall together with Total and Pan American Sur put the new Vega Pléyade gas field, located in the Argentinean Sea off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, into production. The Vega Pléyade project will significantly contribute to the supply of natural gas to the domestic market and has a daily production capacity of up to 8.5 million cubic meters.. It will help to optimize the supply of the already operating gas utilization plants within the region. The offshore field Vega Pléyade is a key project for Wintershall in Argentina with reserves of some 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The new platform is the southernmost gas producing platform in the world and is connected to the onshore processing installations at Río Cullen on the Tierra del Fuego coast by a 77 km subsea gas-exporting pipeline.
20 years experience in Neuquén province
Wintershall has been active in the production of conventional natural gas and oil in the Neuquén province for more than 20 years: in the fields San Roque (since 1994), Aguada Pichana (since 1996) Bandurria (since 2001, since 2015 Badurria Norte) and Aguada Federal (since 2014). The three neighboring blocks also show interesting potential for shale oil and gas as they lie in the area of the very promising Vaca Muerta formation. Wintershall is now conducting exploration and pilot wells with its partners to investigate the potential of this play.
Wintershall holds a share of 27.3 percent in the Aguada Pichana block in Neuquén province (operator is Total 27.3%, YPF 27.3%, PAE 18.1%). So far more than 350 wells have been drilled in this block, which stretches over 1,364 km². Natural gas is being produced from about 200 of these wells today.
In 2015, the block has produced 7.1 million standard cubic meters of gas each day. In addition, in 2014 a shale gas pilot project consisting of 12 horizontal wells with horizontal sections ranging from one to one and a half kilometers started drilling in the block targeting the Vaca-Muerta-Formation. At present, ten wells of this project are in production with promising results.
The San Roque block covers an area of 1,040 km² (Wintershall 24.7%, operator Total 24.7%, YPF 34.1%, PAE 16.5%) and is situated north-east of Aguada Pichana. Here about 4.5 million standard cubic meters of gas are produced daily from about 50 wells.
In July 2015, Wintershall took over the operatorship of the block Bandurria Norte (100% share) in the Neuquén province. Winterhall is currently planning another shale oil pilot project and the completion of one already existing well.
Since 2014, Wintershall has held a share in the Aguada Federal block in the Neuquén province and has been the operator here. In December 2015, this share was increased from 50 to 90 percent. Together with the local state-owned energy company Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén S.A. (GyP), Wintershall wants to investigate the block and if possible develop it further. The block also contains promising shale in the Vaca Muerta formation.
Mendoza province Wintershall as operator
In the south of the Mendoza province, Wintershall Energía holds the exploration license for the block CN-V (Wintershall 50 %, Geopark 50 %). In spring 2013, Wintershall conducted preliminary exploration activities in block CN-V with a 3-D seismic survey covering 180 km².