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Tecpetrol will invest US$2.3bn during 2017-19 in an unconventional E&P project in Argentina's Neuquén province targeting the Vaca Muerta shale depsosit.
The CEOs of Tecpetrol and Argentine-Italian parent company Techint, Carlos Ormachea and Paolo Rocca (pictured left), respectively, confirmed the investment in a meeting Thursday with Argentine President Mauricio Macri (pictured right), energy minister Juan José Aranguren and Neuquén governor Omar Gutiérrez.
Tecpetrol will drill 150 wells at the Fortín de Piedra concession targeting Vaca Muerta's natural gas, provincial state-owned news service Neuquén Informa reported.
Gas production is expected to reach 14Mm3/d by 2019.
Of the investment total, US$1.6bn will go toward the drilling and development of wells, with the remaining US$700mn earmarked for treatment and transport infrastructure, according to a separate report from national state-owned news service Télam.
The deal represents the first major investment commitment by an operator since an agreement was announced in January between the national and provincial governments, oil companies and union leaders to stimulate investment in the unconventional reserve.
Under the agreement, drillers agreed to invest a combined US$15bn/y in Vaca Muerta starting from 2018.
Fortín de Piedra is 100% owned and operated by Tecpetrol, and covers an area of 249km2.