In the fifth month of the year, 1,308 fracture stages were carried out in Vaca Muertaa key activity for unconventional oil and gas production: this represented an increase of 12% compared to April and 11% year-on-year. Thus, the second best monthly record for the group was reached (only behind the numbers for August 2022), according to the report prepared by Luciano Fucello, country manager of NCS Multistage.
Although it was highlighted that the difficulties to import are a problem for companies that operate in Vaca Muerta, they did not prevent them from continuing with the work. In this scenario, the study highlighted that the activity was once again led by YPFwith 578 operations, followed by Tecpetrol (170) and Total Energies (135). For its part, Chevron made 127 punctures, followed by Pampa Energía (93), Vista (92), Pluspetrol (91) and Phoenix (22).
As assured by the sector, the imminent start-up of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline, scheduled for June 20, “incentivizes companies to fill the availability of new infrastructure”. In this sense, with the new fracture sets, the volumes of the formation will be increased both in gas and oil, since all the companies active in the area will be able to add more active wells to their production.
Analysis and perspectives
In this scenario, as analyzed Roberto Butcherthe director of the Institute of Energy of the Austral University, facing the coming months, “it is possible that the level of fractures will remain: the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline must be filled in its first section, which represents 11 million more m3 per day”. “It is also necessary to continue exporting crude oil to Chile. And, in addition, it must be observed that the fractures do not grow continuously, there are summer periods where the activity slows down and as we approach winter, more fractures begin to occur”, the specialist remarked to Ámbito.
“I think fractures will continue to increase, just like what happened in the United States: because the conventional is falling and there is already knowledge of how to be more efficient in the unconventional. Therefore, the number of fractures will continue to increase, with the fluctuations of the demand”stressed Carnicer.
It is that the expansion of infrastructure, he assured, will allow companies to evacuate more of what they produce. “The second expansion of the gas pipeline, the reversal of the TGN gas pipeline to take the gas to the north, are projects in the pipeline that have to be finalized. Therefore, the fractures will continue to increase, depending on the fact that the infrastructure continues to grow”, remarked Carnicer, who added: “Regarding the unconventional crude oil, it must be remembered that the movements to Chile began, through the oil pipeline that was 17 years ago without using. That also represents more oil-associated fractures.”