Shell strengthens Vaca Muerta position through Bandurria Sur buy-in
Jan 31, 2020
Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its subsidiary Shell Argentina S.A. (“Shell”), today announces it has closed the acquisition of SPM Argentina S.A. (“Schlumberger”) with its partner Equinor. Schlumberger held a 49% working interest in the Bandurria Sur block, an unconventional development in the Vaca Muerta basin operated by YPF who currently holds 51% working interest.
The approximately 56,000 gross acres shale oil block is in the late pilot phase of development and is located adjacent to the Shell-operated Bajada de Añelo block. The consideration for Shell’s 24.5% interest is $177.5 million. The investment further strengthens Shell’s position in Vaca Muerta and is in line with the company’s Upstream strategy which aims for competitive delivery and growth of high margin barrels.
In addition, Shell and Equinor have reached a preliminary agreement with YPF to jointly acquire an additional 11% working interest from YPF. Completion of this additional farm-in is subject to certain conditions after which Shell and Equinor will each hold 30% working interest in Bandurria Sur while YPF will hold the remaining 40% working interest and will continue as operator.
Shell Argentina’s President, Sean Rooney, commented: “Partnering with Equinor in accessing the Bandurria Sur block provides Shell with additional liquid-rich growth opportunities in what we see as a promising area. It also emphasizes Shell’s continuous commitment to develop Argentina’s energy resources and our strong and ongoing partnership with YPF in this country”.
Shell in Argentina
The Shell Group has operated in Argentina continuously since 1914, starting its hydrocarbon exploration and production activities in 1921. In the Upstream business we are a partner in the Acambuco Joint Venture since 1998, a conventional gas field in Salta operated by Pan Amercian Energy LLC. Our more recent Upstream history began in 2012, when we launched exploration and subsequently exploitation of Unconventionals petroleum and gas deposits in the Neuquen basin. Shell currently operates the Sierras Blancas, Cruz de Lorena, Coiron Amargo Sur Oeste and Bajada de Añelo blocks. In April 2014, we also acquired a percentage of two blocks operated by Total Austral S.A.: La Escalonada and Rincon La Ceniza. Vaca Muerta plays an important role in the portfolio of future opportunities for Shell.
- In our Unconventionals operations, we place top priority on protecting the safety of our employees, the communities where we operate and the environment.
- Our Shales business has seen much improvement over the recent years, through focusing on core high-margin assets, increasing capital efficiency and reducing operating costs.
- Our Shales operating model is now highly competitive. We expect to deliver $2-3 billion organic free cash flow in 2025.
- In April 2019, Shell grew its footprint in Argentina after winning together with its bid consortium member Qatar Petroleum International Limited two deep-water exploration blocks (CAN 107 and 109), located in the Northern Argentine Basin, as part of the Argentina Offshore Round 1.
- Shell’s deep-water exploration activities are focused on growing existing heartlands and on emerging basins to add competitive and resilient options to its upstream portfolio.
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