Neuquén Targets 80 Rigs By March 2021: Gutiérrez Says

(Energy Analytics Institute, 22.Oct.2020) — Argentina’s Neuquén Province Governor Omar Gutiérrez said joint work by companies and workers will allow the region to achieve a growth path that will allow drilling activity to recover to the levels exhibited before the pandemic. The official said approximately 80 rigs are projected to be back in service by March 2021.

“Hydrocarbon activity in the Neuquén Basin will be completely reactivated, even with more operational teams than there were before the pandemic,” the provincial government announced 22 October in an official statement, citing Gutiérrez.

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“Thanks to agreements the province has established with the different companies, and with efforts from workers in the region, it has been possible to set a path for the reactivation of activity,” Gutiérrez said.

Prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the province had approximate 73 drilling rigs working – including drilling rigs and others performing work related to workovers as well as pulling, coiled tubing and other services.

The number of rigs in operation fell to 38 in March and just four in April, the official said, adding that fuel demand was down 35% as a result of the pandemic, requiring companies that produced the same volumes as before to seek out new markets.

Source: Argentina’s Neuquén Province
Source: Argentina’s Neuquén Province

“Gradually we have been recovering activity, and today we have 42 rigs in operation. The forecast is to have 56 rigs in November, increasing monthly until reaching 80 rigs in March next year,” Gutiérrez said.

The governor indicated that reactivation of the activity would impact both the start-up of the Gas Plan 4 recently announced by the national government and talks that are underway to add more unconventional hydrocarbon concessions.


By Aaron Simonsky. © Energy Analytics Institute (EAI). All Rights Reserved.