Vista Energy to import SLB fracking set to boost production from Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale

Patrick Gillespie, Bloomberg June 11, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Argentine oil driller Vista Energy signed an agreement with SLB to import a new fracking array during the second half of this year to help boost oil production in the Vaca Muerta shale region.

The addition will mean Vista has two fracking crews and related equipment in operation. The company is aiming to raise production 55% to the equivalent of 85,000 bpd by the fourth quarter, and start production on 138 new oil wells by 2026 in an effort to reach 100,000 bpd, according to a statement released Tuesday.

“We continue to commit to the growth of Vaca Muerta by incorporating cutting-edge technology into our operations,” Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio said in written remarks. “Our goal is to accelerate our capital deployment in Vaca Muerta to enable us to tie-in more wells, leaving us well-placed to achieve our production target.”

Vista has more than doubled production since 2018, driving its New York-traded shares up more than 1,000% in the past three years, easily beating every other global driller in its class. The company now anticipates exceeding output targets for next year and 2026, according to the statement.

Vista’s U.S. depositary receipts dropped 1.9% to $43.57 at 10:26 a.m. in New York, trimming the year-to-date advance to 48%.

While the company didn’t disclose terms for the new fracking array, it likely marks one of the largest corporate capital outlays since pro-business President Javier Milei took office on Dec. 10.

Milei has pledged to dismantle Argentina’s capital controls and currency restrictions that have impeded the types of investments Vista is making, but the libertarian leader hasn’t provided a clear timeline yet. In the near term, Vista expects to hit its targets regardless of politics.

“We will deliver on our 2026 plan,” Galuccio said in an interview with Bloomberg published May 23. “Anything else that comes will make us more investible, and it will probably give others opportunities.”

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