Snapshot: Top 10 oil blocks in Argentina’s Neuquén basin

Bnamericas Published: Monday, October 24, 2022

Oil output hit a 23-year high in Argentine province Neuquén in September, with the Vaca Muerta shale play driving growth.

Production averaged 291,672b/d, up 36.4% year-on-year and 4.85% month-on-month, the provincial government said.

With domestic refinery crude demands chiefly met, upstream appetites are being whetted by export opportunities as midstream concessionaire Oldelval works to double dispatch capacity between the Neuquén basin and port terminal facilities in Buenos Aires province.

The basin’s Vaca Muerta shale play – the bulk of which is located in the province – today accounts for some 54% of Argentina’s oil. 

Neuquén basin growth forecasts hinge chiefly on the expansion of dispatch infrastructure, which is currently strained.

Output growth is forecast to spike this year and next and then trend down through 2035. That is according to a report from consultancy Wood Mackenzie, whose projections are based on current output and confirmed investment. By 2035, basin oil production is expected to reach around 560,000b/d.


State energy company YPF accounts for the three biggest producing blocks in the basin, according to March operator data published by the federal energy department.

No. 1
Loma Campana YPF – 10,223m3/d (64,363b/d)

No. 2
La Amarga Chica – YPF – 6,248m3/d

No. 3
Bajada del Palo OesteVista Energy – 4,046m3/d

No. 4
Bandurria Sur – YPF – 3,397m3/d

No. 5
Cruz de LorenaShell Argentina – 2,613m3/d

No. 6
Jaguel Casa de Piedra – Pluspetrol – 1,528m3/d

No. 7
Chihuido de la Sierra Negra – YPF – 1,485m3/d

No. 8
 Lindero AtravesadoPan American Energy – 1,392m3/d 

No. 9
 Bajo del Choique-La InvernadaExxonMobil Exploration Argentina – 1,180m3/d

No. 10
Chachahuen Sur – YPF – 1,162m3/d

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