Argentina: Vaca Muerta long-term test under way

By OGJ editors

Apache Corp. in February 2012 initiated a long term test of the Vaca Muerta shale at the Hua.x-1 well on the 250,000-acre Huacalera block in the western Neuquen basin in Argentina, said partner Americas Petrogas Inc., Calgary.

The shallower Quintuco and Mulichinco zones are to be tested later.

Using leading-edge core and integrated petrophysical analyses carried out in late 2011, Apache perforated a 360-ft interval below 12,465 ft in the Vaca Muerta, which is 1,742 ft thick in the well. The selected interval “appears to hold favorable flow potential based on the analyses,” Americas Petrogas said.

Apache placed more than 300,000 lb. of proppant in the formation in a hydraulic fracture stimulation completed in late February, and the well is flowing gas and load water through temporary test facilities. Tests are to continue for 90 days.

Americas Petrogas’ partners on the block include Apache and Gas y Petroleo. Americas Petrogas said it will pursue a program of as many as 10 more Vaca Muerta and Los Molles shale wells with partners that include ExxonMobil Corp. and Apache in the next 12-18 months.

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