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Rystad Energy predict surge in oil production in Argentinean shale patch

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Oilfield Technology,

Crude oil production from Argentina’s burgeoning shale patch, Vaca Muerta, could surge in the coming years and top 1 million bpd by the end of the decade – but only if takeaway capacity and rig availability do not limit growth.

Rystad Energy predict surge in oil production in Argentinean shale patch

Rystad Energy’s modelling shows that if production is relatively unimpeded, oil output could realistically grow from 291 000 bpd in February 2023 to more than 1 million bpd in the second half of 2030.

The forecast growth could lift Vaca Muerta’s profile and position it as a leading source of shale production, alongside the likes of the Bakken or Eagle Ford developments, two of the US’ shale basins. It would also help the Neuquen region become a net oil exporter, potentially contributing US $20 billion in total revenue by 2030. Crude exports could be making their way to South American neighbours Brazil, Chile and Peru, as well as the US and Europe.

Still, big question marks remain, which could potentially alter the long-term growth outlook. Takeaway capacity constraints linger, and rig availability remains an ongoing concern. The learning curve for operators in the basin has been steep, and they will need to continue this trend to maximise their production potential. If all industry participants work together to address these constraints before they become critical, output could top 1 million bpd sooner rather than later.

Alexandre Ramos Peon, Head of shale research at Rystad Energy, said: “Vaca Muerta could hold the key to Argentina’s future energy economy following more than a decade of oil production declines. While major challenges lie ahead, reaching the important 1 million bpd threshold would change the country’s narrative, reduce its reliance on imports and become a key regional and global oil market player.”

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