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Energy major Exxon Mobil is conducting a review of its shale oil and gas assets in Argentina, reported Bloomberg.

The US company started the review of its Argentina assets in June.

Exxon is working in six regions of Argentina’s Vaca Muerta formation in Patagonia.

The company’s plans to speed up development at its premier location, known as Bajo del Choique-La Invernada, did not materialise.

Currently, just 15,000 barrels per day of oil and gas are produced from the region’s all shale patches combined.

The oil major’s 21% interest in a pipeline that carries shale oil to the Atlantic coast for export is also under review, the report said, citing an Exxon official.

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By GlobalData

Exxon focuses primarily on Guyana in Latin America.

If Exxon does leave the Argentine shale market, it would be considered a setback for the nation’s plans to fully exploit Vaca Muerta’s resources.

Although the region’s geology is comparable to US basins such as the Permian, drilling has been restricted by protectionist legislation, giving national energy corporations a significant share.

The review does not include Exxon’s three offshore exploration licences in Argentina or its Buenos Aires offices, which employ 3,000 people to support its global operations.

ExxonMobil Argentina Offshore Investments and Qatar Petroleum’s affiliate were awarded three exploration blocks in Argentina’s first offshore bid round in 2019.

The three Argentine exploration blocks, MLO-113, MLO-117, and MLO-118, are situated in the Malvinas basin, some 320km off the coast of Tierra del Fuego.