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Vista in boost at Neuquen

Latin America-focused Vista Oil & Gas has become the second-largest shale oil producer in the prolific Vaca Muerta formation in Argentina's Neuquen basin, driven by strong performance at its Bajada del Palo Oeste field, writes Fabio Palmigiani.

The company, led by the former head of Argentina’s state giant YPF Miguel Galuccio, produced about 32,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in August from both conventional and unconventional targets, up 15% from 28,500 boepd in July.

After starting shale production from Bajada del Palo Oeste in February with a set of four wells, Vista tied in and put on stream another four wells in late July, more than doubling output from the area to 10,110 boepd.

“We estimate that the total shale oil production of this concession would make Vista the second-largest shale oil producer in Vaca Muerta with an estimated average production of 7970 barrels per day of oil,” the company said.

The forecast takes into account production figures from June published by Argentina’s energy department.

YPF leads shale oil production in the Vaca Muerta. When data from August becomes available, Vista is expected to take second place, followed by Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell, Tecpetrol and Pan American Energy.

Vista intends to drill and complete four more wells in Bajada del Palo Oeste by the end of the year, increasing to 12 the number of producing wells in the field.

Vista is fast-tracking activities in Bajada del Palo Oeste.

The company is currently ramping up production in the delineation phase, with full-field development to start in mid-2021.

The Bajada del Palo Oeste concession is due to expire in 2053.

Vista, which also owns assets in Mexico, raised in late July an estimated $101 million before taxes and expenses in a global offering that marked the company’s debut listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

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