Qatar Petroleum has entered into an agreement with ExxonMobil to become a 30% equity holder in two of their affiliates in Argentina that hold different interests in hydrocarbon licences in the world class Vaca Muerta play in the onshore Neuquén basin in Argentina.
Upon closing, the signed agreements will give Qatar Petroleum a 30% shareholding in two ExxonMobil local affiliates in Argentina, namely, ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina S.R.L. and Mobil Argentina S.A.
Speaking at a press conference held on this occasion, Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said it is Qatar Petroleum’s first investment in Argentina as well as its first significant international investment in unconventional oil and gas resources.
“We look forward to working with ExxonMobil to leverage our combined world class capabilities to unlock the potential of these assets for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
This 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 their local production from the North Field which will boost Qatar’s LNG production from 77 million to 100 million tonnes per year.
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 governmental incentives and rising domestic energy demand. A number of international operators have established presence in the basin and announced ambitious investment plans.
ExxonMobil’s wholly owned subsidiary, XTO Energy, which is among the world leaders in unconventional oil and gas operations, is providing operational support to the two concerned ExxonMobil affiliates in Argentina, including developing detailed appraisal and development plans for these assets, based on recently drilled wells and pilot production testing.
In addition, the implementation of leading technologies will be a priority for the partners in order to maximise the value to all stakeholders, while preserving the highest safety standards and reducing operating costs.