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Vertical axis in chart corresponds to thousands of barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Oil -  fossil oil produced from on and offshore reservoirs, including tight sands/shales; and liquids extracted from gas.

Gas - sales gas produced from on and offshore reservoirs, including tight sands/shales and coal beds.O

Full breakdowns are available in datafiles.

Vertical axis in chart corresponds to number of wells spudded in year including stand-alone sidetracks.

Wells in chart include those drilled in exploratory and development categories for oil and gas, but excluding CBM.

Full breakdowns are available in datafiles.

Exploration and Production

Early history

In development

Modern history

In development

Chevron and ExxonMobil have now committed a combined total of US$700 mm to the Vaca Muerta. Chevron signed an agreement with YPF in 2013, divesting its interests in the Rio Negro Province to concentrate on the Neuquen. It went on to reduce horizontal well costs by half (to US$ 8.2 mm) and has 3 drilling rigs active. ExxonMobil entered the region in 2011. It has 7 blocks and plans to launch a long term pilot project in Los Toldos Block 1 South that could involve 300 wells.

In conventional reservoirs GeoPark discovered a Neuquen Basin oil field (Mendoza Province) in the CN-V block in 2017 in an Early Cretaceous reservoir. As part of its 35-well program in Latin America GeoPark drilled 7 wells in the Neuquen in 2017.

For recent events see News Briefs.


In development

The Neuquen Basin

The Neuquen Basin has a 6000m sedimentary column with marine and continental rocks from Triassic to Paleocene in age. The Precuyo Group, the Los Molles, the Vaca Muerta and the Agrio formations comprise almost all the source rocks. Reservoirs range from late Triassic to Late Cretaceous in age, with seals in the Jurassic and Cretaceous. The northwestern part of the basin contains mostly dry gas. Wet gas and oil appear as you go south and east.

The primary target in the Neuquen is now the Vaca Muerta (Dead Cow). The 30,000 sq km Vaca Muerta shale formation could contain over 10 tcm of shale gas and 16 bn bbls of shale oil and condensate. It lies primarily in the Neuquen Basin, Neuquen Province, in the central west with a small part in Mendoza Province to the north.

Oil and gas forecasts

E and P

News Briefs


South America