GeoPark Limited, an independent Latin American oil and gas explorer, operator and consolidator with operations and growth platforms in Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, and Wintershall Energía S.A. (“Wintershall”), a subsidiary of the BASF group, the fourth largest gas producer in Argentina with over 15 blocks, has announced the discovery of a new oil field in the CN-V block (GeoPark 50% WI, Wintershall 50% WI) in the Neuquen Basin, Mendoza Province of Argentina.
The Rio Grande Oeste 1 exploration well – operated by GeoPark – was drilled and completed to a total depth of 5,500 feet targeting the Grupo Neuquen formation, where fifteen different potential reservoir sands were identified – at depths that range from 1,800 to 5,500 feet – with a potential net pay of 400 feet. Preliminary logging information indicated hydrocarbons in the upper, middle and lower zones. The complete testing program is still underway. To date, GeoPark has carried out production tests in four reservoir sands, with early results showing a production rate by natural flow of approximately 300 bopd of 28.0 degrees API, with a 7% water cut. Additional testing and production history will be required to determine stabilized flow rates of the well.
This discovery derisks other delineated and adjacent light oil prospects in the CN-V block for future drilling and will provide GeoPark with a reserve, production and cash flow base in Argentina. GeoPark and its partner Wintershall are currently evaluating subsequent activities in the CN-V block, including a development plan for the Rio Grande Oeste oil field.
GeoPark acquired an interest in the CN-V block in 2015 through a partnership with Wintershall. The block is located in the Mendoza Province and covers an area of 117,000 acres, with 3D seismic coverage of 180 sq km next to the producing Loma Alta Sur oil field operated by YPF. The 3D seismic survey was acquired by Wintershall in 2015. The CN-V block also has upside potential in the developing Vaca Muerta unconventional play. Wintershall has the right to take over operatorship pursuant to the terms and conditions of the farm-in agreement.
GeoPark’s total work program for 2017 in Argentina includes 7 gross wells ($5-7 million total) expected to be drilled in 2H2017, targeting shallow heavy oil exploration prospects in the Sierra del Nevado and Puelen blocks (Pluspetrol operated, GeoPark with a 18% WI) in the Neuquen Basin. The Puelen block is located north of the producing El Corcobo oil field, operated by Pluspetrol, and Sierra del Nevado is located east of the Llancanelo oil field, operated by YPF.
The Mendoza Province is an attractive location for GeoPark to resume its exploration and drilling activities in Argentina. The Province produces more than 15% of Argentina’s oil and offers suitable infrastructure to support, refine and commercialize oil production.
James F. Park, CEO of GeoPark, said: “We are pleased to be back operating and investing in Argentina where GeoPark’s technical team has a long and successful history of finding oil and gas and which also represents a highly attractive under-explored and under-developed hydrocarbon region with multiple new project opportunities.”