The oil production at Vaca Muerta, in the Neuquén basin, climbed 55,7 percent in the last 12 months, while the gas output rose 39,3 percent in the same period, according to a report of the Instituto Argentino de la Energía (IAE) analyzing March figures.
The Energy Trends report published by the IAE also highlights that the oil output of the basins in Argentina grew 3.2 percent in March, compared to the same month last year, and accumulated a 3.7 percent increase in the last 12 months, while the gas production climbed 2.1 and 3.2 percent, respectively.
Regarding the conventional oil production (79 percent of the country's hydrocarbons industry), it dropped 4.4 percent in March compared to same period in 2019, and fell 3.9 percent during the last 12 months.
On the other hand, the unconventional output (21% of the total) gained 47.3 percent in twelve months.
Moreover, the gas production fell 2.1 percent in March, year-on-year, although it gained 3.2 percent in the accumulated output in the last 12 months, compared to volume registered in the same period.
The conventional gas (57 percent of the total) dropped 6 percent in the last year and 6.4 percent in March year-on-year. The IAE warned that these reference has to be thoroughly analyzed as it may hint a deeper downward trend.
On the other hand, the unconventional gas production rose 18.6 percent year-on-year, representing 43 percent of the total output, although the report stressed "a significant reduction in the growing trend of the expansion of unconventional gas from 24.4 to 4.1 percent year-on-year."
"This drop in the growth-speed is due to the reductions in the monthly levels of production of Tecpetrol," IAE explained, referring to the Grupo Techint project that has become one of the major gas producers in a year.
Regarding the particular case of Vaca Muerta, the report stated that the oil production rose 55.7 percent in the last 12 months compared to the same period last year, and currently represents 19.7 percent of the total production of the country.
The main oil producer in Vaca Muerta is YPF. The company extracts from this area 12.9 percent of the total oil output in the country, which represents 66 percent of the production in Vaca Muerta.
The national oil company is the main oil operator in the unconventional area and has accumulated a 37.8 percent increase in its production during the last 12 months, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the natural gas output in Vaca Muerta grew 39.3 percent during the last 12 months, and represents 23.9 percent of the total gas production in the country.
In this case, there are three main operators: Tecpetrol, YPF and Total, which produce in this area the 9.3, 7.3 and 3.6 percent of the total natural gas production in Argentina, respectively.
In the last 12 months, Techint rose its annual production in this area by 20.2 percent; YPF, 28 percent; and Total, 73 percent.