The production of hydrocarbons in Neuquén reached its historical record in natural gas in August and the best performance in oil in the last 21 years, in both cases due to the monthly increase registered by the unconventional formation of Vaca Muerta, according to a report prepared by the provincial government based on data from the Secretary of Energy of the Nation.
In the eighth month of the year, Neuquén reached the historical record of 91.59 million cubic meters (MMm3/d) of gas per day, according to what was reported by the province’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
The figure represents a growth of 0.47% compared to July this year and 12.9% compared to August 2021.
Meanwhile, the accumulated variation this year is 23.12%, which is mainly due to the increase in production registered in the Aguada Pichana Este, Aguada Pichana Oeste, La Calera and La Ribera Block I areas.
Meanwhile, oil production in August was 278,187 barrels per day, the highest volume recorded in the last 21 years.
89% of the oil produced in August in the province was unconventional, while in the case of gas it explained 83%
If compared to last July, the growth was 1.07%, while the interannual variation marked an increase of 40.05%.
Meanwhile, in the first eight months of the year, crude oil production increased by 40.69%.
The difference in relation to July is mainly explained by the increase in production in the Bajada del Palo Oeste, Sierras Blancas, Mata Mora Norte and Aguada Federal areas.
To reflect the impact that Vaca Muerta has on the provincial total, 89% of the oil produced in August was unconventional, while in the case of gas it accounted for 83%.
In the case of natural gas, the impact that the Gas Plan generated in the oil companies that committed an incremental production to supply the demand for the winter months is perceived, while in oil with the supply reached from the distilleries there are exportable surpluses that allow taking advantage of values well above what was recorded a year ago.
However, the limitations of transportation in both products have been acting as a limitation for the operators, for which there is great expectation in the industry for the completion of the infrastructure projects underway, such as the case of the President Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline, the expansion of the Valle Pipeline and the rehabilitation of the Trasandino Pipeline, among the most immediate undertakings.
Oil production in August was 278,187 barrels per day, the highest volume recorded in the last years.
Last week, the national government announced the launch of Plan Gas IV for the voluntary extension for four years of the contracts of the first three rounds awarded since December 2020.
At the same time, it presented the so-called Plan Gas V that allows oil companies to bid for a total of 11 MMm3 from June and July 2023 to supply the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline.
After the production figures for August were announced, the governor of Neuquen, Omar Gutiérrez, highlighted the performance of the industry and maintained that during 2022 a record figure of 5,000 million dollars will be invested in the hydrocarbon production of the province, and reiterated his opinion that “it is time to accelerate in Vaca Muerta”.
“We have gained in efficiency, lowered costs and more work. The telegrams are about hires, not dismissals. Today Vaca Muerta generates 54% of the oil and 45% of the gas in the Republic, the number of workers in construction and in the hydrocarbons sector has doubled,” the president said.
In this sense, it was highlighted that the growth of private employment at the national level was 15.5% in the last 10 years, while in Neuquén it was 31.5%.