Exclusives

A novel scale inhibitor formulation optimizes artificial lift in mature, calcium-rich wells in an Argentine field.

Like in many shale plays around the world, players interested in the Vaca Muerta Formation must overcome steep learning curves and find adequate financing. But the prize is there. 

Cow, McClendon, JV, American Energy Partners, Argentina, Vaca Muerta, shale, YPF, farm in, Jessica Garrison, Stratas

The Oklahoma City company and Argentina's state-run firm plan to invest more than US$500 million in developing the Vaca Muerta Shale over the next three years.

President Energy, Paraguay, Boqueron, seismic, well, Pirity

The company said its Boqueron prospect in Paraguay’s Hernandarias Block could hold unrisked recoverable gas resources of an estimated 559 billion cubic feet plus 302 million barrels of oil and 17 MMbbl of condensate.

Venezuela, gas, production, Perla, Repsol, PDVSA

Venezuela’s oil industry consumes most of the country’s gas, low prices offer little incentive, and technical obstacles are belowground.

Deepwater International

Technip has clinched a major contract worth at least $559.2 million to supply a network of flexible pipes for the deepwater Lula Alto field offshore Brazil.

The issues related to Petrobras and the ongoing corruption probe in Brazil could lead to at least four major deepwater FPSO projects hitting at least a one-year delay, according to Portugal’s Galp Energia.

QGI Oil & Gas consortium has abandoned more than $1 billion worth of modules integration work on two identical FPSO vessels destined for one of Petrobras’ developments.

Petrobras has churned out announcement of yet another ultra-deepwater discovery but this time in the post-salt. 

Petrobras has highlighted the money it is saving through the utilisation of subsea equipment support vessels (SESVs) instead of drillships and rigs to install its subsea trees in the pre-salt offshore Brazil.

Exploration

The survey, which was conduted by Polarcus, was comprised of about 785 sq km of data and targeted leads identified on 2-D legacy data. The data will now be processed and interpreted in-house, the release said.

Shell wants to keep investing in Brazil as the country has viable oil reserves despite recent market uncertainties, Shell Brazil CEO Andre Araujo said. 

Rosneft plans to raise its stake in the Petromonagas joint venture from 16.7% to 40%.

The three new fields—Boicobo, Ipaguazu and Boyuy—in the Caipipendi block in southern Bolivia contain enough gas to meet the demands of neighboring Brazil over 10 years, said Diego Diaz, the head of Repsol's Bolivian unit.

The new survey follows on from the original survey that covered more than 16,000 sq km over portions of the Col-1 and Col-2 blocks offshore Colombia. The extension is expected to start in February 2016, CGG said in the release.

Production

Oil production has begun from the third phase of the deepwater Parque das Conchas (BC-10) development in Brazil’s Campos Basin, Shell said in a news release.

In an interview published on March 6, Chief Executive Miguel Galuccio said that profit on YPF's shale oil and gas production was "marginal" even with the price of locally produced crude set artificially high by the government.

Petrobras said the drop was principally due to scheduled maintenance on several platforms, Reuters reported.

There is a wellhead platform in 50 m of water, tied back to the Total-operated Rio Cullen and Cañadon Alfa onshore treatment facilities by a 77-km offshore pipeline.

The paper said Petrobras would suspend rig operations and other equipment in the states of Espirito Santo, Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Norte and Ceará, Reuters reported.

Technology

Roberto Rincon, president of Texas-based Tradequip Services & Marine, and another businessman were arrested in December on charges of taking part in a $1 billion conspiracy to corruptly secure energy contracts, Reuters said.

Brazilian newspaper reports Petrobras' human resources department allegedly engaged in activities with conflict of interest. Some agreements could cost Petrobras tens of billions of reais, the report said, Reuters reported. 

Fire aboard P-48 FPSO vessel started at about 1 p.m. local time as platform was being shut down and has since been put out, according to workers' union, Reuters reported.

Opposition lawmakers believe the contract contains secret clauses that hand concessions to Chevron and undermine national interests.

CEO Miguel Galuccio's resignation will take effect at the end of next month, a YPF spokesman told Reuters on March 9. He was appointed in 2012 by then-President Cristina Fernandez after she seized control of the company from Spanish oil giant Repsol.