ExxonMobil last week made its first discovery in Vaca Muerta, which is rapidly drawing attention as one of the world’s most significant shale plays.
The American major’s horizontal well in the Bajo del Choique Block, in a ‘liquid-rich’ area of the Neuquén basin, flowed at a rate of 770 barrels per day in testing.
The American firm has an 85% stake in the Bajo del Choique Block, which is part of the group’s 900,000 acre portfolio in the Vaca Muerta.
Exxon’s discovery is particularly positive for Andes Energia, which has nearby acreage - Bajo del Choique is to the south east of the AIM firm’s Correlera block. Indeed, the flow rates at Bajo del Choique are ahead of those assumed in analyst valuations of Andes Energia’s acreage.
Canadian firm Crown Point, meanwhile, has also had success in relative proximity to Andes Energia’s assets.
Crowne Point’s La Hoyada discovery is close to the east border of the AIM firm’s Malargue block and just 40kms from its La Brea block.
In a stock market statement Andes Energia said it continues to see substantial prospectivity in its Vaca Muerta acreage.
Old Park Lane analyst Barney Gray, meanwhile, expects to see more exploration success in the play in the future.
“The continued drilling success of other oil and gas companies in the Vaca Muerta is great news for Andes which has several licences located in the oil window of this exciting formation,” Gray said in a note.
“We believe that the continued drilling success of Andes’s neighbours will enhance considerably the value of the company’s core acreage in the Vaca Muerta shale play.”