YPF contracts 15 new rigs for Vaca Muerta

Mar 06, 2014 12:00 AM

YPF contracted 15 new drilling rigs for its Vaca Muerta shale operations in Argentina, nearly doubling its existing rig count in the area.

The state-controlled firm signed two five-year contracts, worth close to US$1.2 bn, with Archer Limited's local subsidiary DLS and Helmerich & Payne.

DSL will provide five rigs manufactured by National Oilwell Varco, while H&P will supply 10 of its FlexRigs, YPF said in a press release.

These walking or skidding rigs will be the first of their kind in Argentina and will reduce new well costs, as they do not need to be disassembled to be moved to a different drill site.

The FlexRigs allow for horizontal or directional drilling, a technique that stands to increase individual well production, as each well will have more exposure to the shale pay.

H&P expects the first of its rigs to begin drilling in the Neuquén basin in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year ending September 30 .

"The remaining nine rigs are expected to be sequentially deployed, reaching full utilization by the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2015," the Tulsa-based firm said in a separate statement.

With 19 rigs in operation, YPF has drilled more than 130 wells on its Loma Campana area of the Vaca Muerta shale play, with production averaging 20,000 boe/d.

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