Snapshot: Top 10 oil producers in Argentina’s Neuquina basin

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, March 02, 2022
Snapshot: Top 10 oil producers in Argentina’s Neuquina basin

Argentina’s Neuquina basin, home to the Vaca Muerta shale play, could see investment rise to US$5bn this year.

That’s according to Omar Gutiérrez, governor of Neuquén, the country’s No. 1 hydrocarbons-producing province. 

Neuquén sits over the biggest chunk of the basin, which saw associated investment of around US$4bn last year.  

Gutiérrez said that oil and gas pipeline construction and expansion work was “fundamental.” State energy company IEASA has launched a tender for ducts for a key new Vaca Muerta gas pipeline. Work to bring an Argentina-Chile oil pipeline back into service and expand pumping capacity of a domestic oil pipeline has also been announced.  

Gutiérrez, meanwhile, added that authorities aimed to award five unconventional hydrocarbons concessions this year, among them El Trapial.

Neuquén province oil production grew 30% to 71Mb last year. Daily production was 246,000b/d in December, beating a goal for the year of 235,000b/d. Last year the province exported 7.8Mb of crude, or around 11% of production.

An objective for 2022 is surpassing the 308,000b/d mark, a statement issued by the provincial government said.

Upstream firm Vista Oil & Gas, the second biggest oil player in the basin, said it planned to boost production 20% this year and ramp up exports 77%. State oil and gas company YPF, the country’s biggest upstream investor and oil producer, has previously said its capex focus was on oil. 

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Meanwhile, in terms of gas, Gutiérrez said Neuquén output grew 7% in 2021 and that production was 80Mm3/d in January 2022. Exports from the province last year were 457Mm3, he said. Argentina pipes gas to Chile, Brazil and Uruguay in the warmer months. 

The other provinces that sit over parts of the basin are La Pampa, Mendoza and Río Negro.


Oil production at the Neuquina basin was 50,900m3/d (320,151b/d) in December, up 34.3% year-on-year, according to a report published by think tank the General Mosconi energy institute. 

Oil production at Argentina’s other basins – Austral, Golfo San Jorge, Noroeste and Cuyana – fell, by 23.9%, 3.0%, 9.7% and 4.5%, respectively.


No. 1
YPF – 26,529m3/d.  

No. 2  
Vista Oil & Gas – 5,484m3/d

No. 3
Pluspetrol – 4,299m3/d 

No. 4  
Shell Argentina 3,189m3/d

No. 5  
Pan American Energy – 2,235m3/d

No. 6
ExxonMobil Exploration Argentina – 1,548m3/d

No. 7
PetroquÍmica Comodoro Rivadavia – 1,457m3/d

No. 8
Chevron Argentina – 1,059m3/d

No. 9
Tecpetrol – 1,029m3/d

No. 10
Petróleos Sudamericanos – 491m3/d

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