The preliminary agreement (term sheet) between the companies was signed on August 24, 2017, in Geneva by Statoil’s executive vice president for Exploration, Tim Dodson, and YPF’s vice president for business development & development engineering, Sergio Giorgi.
Statoil will enter the Bajo del Toro exploration permit in the Neuquén Basin as a partner with a 50 % participating interest, with the operator YPF retaining a 50 % interest. As a consideration, Statoil shall recognize to YPF past cost incurred in the block and fund 100% of the cost of certain future activities in the block (promote). The Bajo del Toro exploration block represents a country-entry for Statoil into Argentina.
The Bajo del Toro exploration permit covers an area of 157 km2 (38,800 acres), located in the Neuquén Basin in the west-central part of Argentina. The Vaca Muerta formation is the main target in the basin. In the next few months, the parties will conclude the final agreements. Prior to closing of the deal, the agreements have to be approved by the Neuquén provincial authorities.
In 2016, Statoil signed a technical study agreement with YPF to map exploration opportunities in a large area of the continental slope offshore Argentina.