According to the reportthe 2019 investigation “concluded that the geological properties of Vaca Muerta were comparable to the major formations in the United States and that It was a promising site”. When comparing it with in 2022, “the average technical break-even point for Vaca Muerta wells is in line with the major unconventional fields in the United States.
When talking about productivity, McKinsey & Company highlights that Vaca Muerta exceeds the production of a similar well in the Permian formation in the first 90 days, the main shale oil play in the United States, located in Delaware. “In 2021, the Vaca Muerta wells they achieved a maximum production of 82 thousand barrels of oil against the 76 thousand of Delaware. The last three annual campaigns have even produced a 23% higher cumulative,” the report explains.
Another thing highlighted in the report is that the Vaca Muerta shale is in the lighter range of oils and has a low sulfur content, specifically less than 0.5%. This makes it easier to refine and produce gasoline, improving the export opportunities made out of fuel.
“It stands to reason that Vaca Muerta oil could be placed in markets like Europe (France, Italy and the United Kingdom), o Asia oriental (China, Korea, and Singapore),” explains McKinsey, adding: “This is due to its similarity to light US crude.”
The consultant warns that the deposit “will require at least $45 billion over the next 10 years” for necessary development, but also that it “could help overcome infrastructure bottlenecks, and could be encouraged by a reduction in the exposed risk profile.” to take advantage, the economic impact of Vaca Muerta could bring in revenues of between US$58 billion and US$70 billion. With a higher level of activity, it would also increase the participation of the industry in the GDP, going from a current 1.4% to 8.4% by 2032.