Oilfield services firm Schlumberger has signed a joint venture agreement with Argentina’s YPF to start a shale oil pilot project in Bandurria Sur Block in Vaca Muerta, Neuquén.
The deal will see Schlumberger invest $390 million in phased manner, which includes a material contribution in kind of its services at market price.
The block will continue to be operated by YPF. In addition, the commitment foresees the execution of different technical studies, the drilling of 26 pilot wells, and the construction of new infrastructure.
“Bringing a new partner like Schlumberger to Vaca Muerta is strategic for YPF because they offer vast experience in the most important unconventional plays around the globe and a work team that facilitates strengthening our know-how,” stated YPF Chairman, Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez.
Schlumberger President of Operations, Patrick Schorn commented, “We are very pleased with the opportunity of working more closely with YPF. By leveraging our reservoir knowledge and track record in unconventional completions, we expect to create operational efficiencies and further reduce development costs in the world-class Vaca Muerta play.”
In the coming months the parties will iron out a final agreement. Schlumberger will acquire a 49 per cent interest in the joint venture, while YPF will retain 51 per cent.