Argentina's Neuquen Hits Oil Export Record with Vaca Muerta Boost

(Reuters) — The Argentine province of Neuquen exported a record 2.77 million barrels of oil in June, the local government said on Thursday, largely on the back of higher production at the Vaca Muerta formation.

Argentina is betting on Vaca Muerta — the world's second-largest shale gas reserve and fourth-largest shale oil reserve — to turn the country into an energy powerhouse and to stop relying on imports at a time when foreign currency reserves are running low.

Oil exports raked in $184.8 million for the province in June at an average price of $67 a barrel, the government said in a statement. Of total production, 29% was exported.

"We are very happy that the province continues to provide solutions to the country," Governor Omar Gutierrez said in the statement, "bringing in foreign currency and decreasing energy imports."

Neuquen also exported 108.48 million cubic meters of natural gas in June, bringing in an additional $31.5 million.

The Vaca Muerta formation is expected to move even more natural gas in coming months, after a pipeline running from Neuquen to Buenos Aires came online in early July.

Vista Energy led June's oil exports with 491,000 barrels, followed by Petronas with 470,000. For gas, Tecpetrol and Pampa Energia led the pack.

The June figures brought first half oil and gas exports to $1.32 billion.


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