Wintershall signs new investment agreement for Vaca Muerta

Argentina has the second-largest shale gas deposits

Martín I. Rousseaux
Wintershall Energía S.A. and the local state-owned energy company Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén S.A. have signed an agreement under which Wintershall, Germany’s largest internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer, increases its participation interest in the Aguada Federal block from 50% to 90%.

In March 2015, Wintershall began with an own-operated exploration campaign in Aguada Federal block and has already drilled two vertical exploration wells which are currently being tested.

The exploration wells aim to provide important information about the characteristics of the crude oil and natural gas reservoir, which includes promising shale rock of the Vaca Muerta formation. 

Together with the United States, Argentina is one of the most important growth regions in the field of unconventional oil and gas production.

The South American country has the second-largest shale gas deposits and the fourth-largest shale oil deposits in the world.

Following a request from Tellus Petroleum, Wintershall has consented to release the company from its obligations under the Sales and Purchase Agreement announced on June 18, 2015. 

Wintershall, a 100% BASF subsidiary, had originally planned to divest assets in the four non-operated fields Knarr (20%), Veslefrikk (4.5%), Ivar Aasen (6.4615%) and Yme (10%) on the Norwegian continental shelf to Tellus Petroleum AS, a 100% subsidiary of Sequa Petroleum N.V.

The planned transaction also involved a 15% stake in the Wintershall-operated Maria development as well as seven exploration licenses.  ■